WASHINGTON (AFPN) --
Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley send this Veterans Day message to the Airmen of the United States Air Force:
On Veteran's Day, our nation honors the great Americans who have stood ready to give life itself on behalf of freedom in service to our country. The day chosen for Veteran's Day -- the 11th day of the 11th month -- honors the day in 1918 when hostilities ceased in the "War to End All Wars." Unfortunately, the Great War did not end all wars. Thankfully, however, American veterans continue to answer the call to serve this great nation.
Today, we focus on the veterans of the United States Air Force and its predecessor organizations. There are still Airmen alive today who served under Gen. "Hap" Arnold and were instrumental in rescuing the world from the clutches of tyranny in World War II. Still other Airmen remember standing undaunted and vigilant during the Cold War decades, enduring the bitter cold of Korea, braving the hot jungles of Vietnam or waging the persistent conflict in Southwest Asia. Our nation will always be proud of their service.
On this Veteran's Day, we also honor a new generation of Airmen who defend our freedom today. Whether deployed overseas or stationed stateside, today's total force Airmen deliver America's Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power. Since September 11th, 2001, our total force Airmen -- you -- have engaged our nation's enemies on many fronts. You have helped bring down ruthless dictators, liberated two nations and allowed more than 50 million people to enjoy their first taste of liberty.
While America has needed every generation to step forward and answer our nation's call, our Armed Forces currently make up only about 1% of our country's total populace. You are thus an elite group who bears the immense burden of defending our nation and our way of life, just like the brave veterans who served before you. Just as they did, you too have earned the proud title of veteran. You have served with distinction during seventeen years of continuous combat, the longest of any war our nation has fought, while at the same time you strive to make our Air Force better able to handle the next fight.
So on this Veteran's Day, we humbly salute all of America's veterans. We thank you all for your service, providing for the common defense and guaranteeing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans. May God bless all who have worn the Airman's uniform in the past, as well as those who continue to serve today.
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