Reflection, action, honor

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Greg Touhill
  • 81st Training Wing commander
On Nov 11, America observes Veteran's Day, a day to celebrate the sacrifices of veterans in the service of our country. 

The observance originally marked the cessation of hostilities at the end of World War I and many countries hold observances on Nov. 11 in honor of their veterans and fallen heroes. 

Here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, there will be many observances including school assemblies, church services, and even a parade through downtown Biloxi at 11 a.m. Nov. 8. I certainly hope you will have the opportunity to participate in one, if not more, of the events. 

As Airmen, Veteran's Day ought to have a special and profound meaning for all of us. Our Airman's Creed reminds us we "are faithful to a proud heritage, a tradition of honor, and a legacy of valor." Nov. 11 is a perfect day for us to reflect on that portion of our Airman's Creed and rededicate ourselves to remain faithful to the proud heritage of those who served before us; to maintain a strong tradition of honor punctuated by integrity, service and excellence and carry on a legacy of valor by demonstrating courage to tackle any challenge. Our nation is calling us to be the next greatest generation -- we must be ready. 

Last year, I was so proud of our Airmen who made the day special for our local veterans. Many airmen went to the Veterans Administration Medical Center and spent some time with hospitalized veterans, spreading good cheer and demonstrating to those who served before us that they are not forgotten nor unappreciated. 

I was equally proud of those Airmen who participated in local community observances, proudly wearing their uniforms and speaking with fellow Americans about their service. 

I was proud of those Airmen who put on their unit T-shirts and volunteered to help with community projects, making our Mississippi home even better. 

I was very proud of those who manned the watch at home or on deployment, doing their duty because it was the right thing to do, and allowing Americans around the country the ability to observe the holiday in peace. 

How will you spend Veteran's Day this year? Will it be a day of recreation or will it be a day of reflection, action and honor? At the very least, please join me in making the time to seek out and thank a veteran for their great service to our nation; it is the right thing to do.