The Floyds and Airman Martin rescued two passengers from a submerged vehicle. The two Airmen went through basic training together. Airman Floyd arrived at Keesler in March and Airman Martin arrived in May. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Pivnick)
1/27/2011 - SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Nearly 1,000 Airmen from across Air Education and Training Command gathered here Friday to hear Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley during the Air Education and Training Command Ball.
The ball, the largest formal event hosted by the command, concluded the AETC Symposium and Exposition. More than 3,500 Airmen, civilians, civic leaders, sisterservice members and foreign officials participated in the two-day event.
The ball's theme was celebrating AETC heroes, said retired Lt. Gen. John Hopper
Jr., former AETC vice commander.
Six heroes, chosen by command officials for their courage, quick thinking and selflessness, were featured in a series of video vignettes that highlighted their life-saving actions.
Four of the six were from Keesler -- Dr. (Maj.) Stephen Boskovich, Airmen 1st Class Anna Martin and Georgina Floyd and Airman Floyd's husband, Jordan Floyd. Dr. Boskovich is from the 81st Medical Operations Squadron, Airman Martin is from the 81st
Logistics Readiness Squadron and Airman Floyd is from the 81st Inpatient Operations
Dr. Boskovich headed Keesler's critical care air transport team that cared for and
evacuated patients injured during the catastrophic earthquake that devastated Haiti, Jan. 12, 2010. Airmen Martin and the Floyds rescued two victims from a submerged vehicle.
Secretary Donley spoke about the vital role Airmen play in our national defense,
noting that it takes an entire Air Force to accomplish even the smallest mission.
"To talk about our Air Force is to talk about heroes," Secretary Donley said. "Many
will claim that heroes save lives. True enough. We've heard stories of that this
evening, and no one would argue the point. We honor the individuals tonight who've
done exactly that.
"But in our Air Force, we're surrounded by everyday heroes," he added. "The word
'hero' is Greek for 'protector' or 'defender,' and each Airman in our Air Force has
taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, so it sounds to
me like you're defenders, which is English for that Greek word 'heroes.'"
"We are blessed as a nation, as an Air Force, to have so many heroes in our
ranks," the secretary said. "Every Airman depends on every other Airman to accomplish
important missions. All of whom will affect the outcome; all of whom are heroes,
in that they too are part of the defense of our great nation and what America stands for."
Gen. Edward Rice Jr., AETC commander, concluded the evening's festivities by thanking the assembled Airmen for attending the symposium and ball.
More important than attendance, he said, was that the audience use what it saw and
actively learned over the past two days to improve the Air Force.
"Take what we learned these past two days, and go out and use it to make a difference,"