The United States continues to fight the war on terror throughout many parts of the world. The individual men and women who are actually on the battle grounds are the ones doing that fighting. To honor their hard work and dedication to our country, a ceremony was held in their behalf at the main hanger of the Air National Guard Base at Key Field.
"We're here to recognize the hometown heroes, those men and women who have deployed previously and those that will deploy in the near future. We're here to honor them today based on their service to their country. And we just wanted to say thank you with these awards," explained Major General William L. Freeman Jr., the Adjutant General for the state of Mississippi.
"It's a good opportunity to honor all of our members who have deployed for thirty days and longer on the global war on terrorism. It's a great opportunity, a great day to do it," says Colonel Franklin E. Chalk, the Wing Commander for the 186th Air Refueling Wing.
Over 400 of our airmen were celebrated. Their willingness to fight for our country is a sacrifice that not only impacts their lives, but their families as well.
"We're also honoring our families, and our children here today. It's recognition of the support they give our airmen when they are deployed 30, 60, 90, 100 days whatever their deployment might be for," said Freeman.
Whether it is 30 days or 100 days these airmen are dedicating, they all deserve the recognition of their commitment. They truly know what sacrifice means.
"We want to give proper recognition not only to our airmen, because he's paid the price. He's served his country in harm's way in some foreign country. We also want to recognize our families because they suffer while our loved ones are deployed," said Freeman.
For many of these hometown heroes, this recognition is truly special. Those who took part in the ceremony want them realize the gratitude they deserve.
"Again we want to thank them for their service to their country. They are truly our heroes."