AF leaders says vets to thank for nation's success

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
  • Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Operating Location - Pentagon

The United States of America’s success is rooted in the sacrifice of millions of veterans who have served it, a senior Air Force leader said Nov. 11 at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Hoog, Air Force assistant vice chief of staff and keynote speaker at a Veterans Day wreath laying ceremony, praised those who served in the armed forces to an audience of approximately 100 veterans, service members, family members and military supporters

During his speech, Hoog stressed the importance veterans have played in America’s past and present.

“Our nation’s success is founded in the sacrifice of the generations who served before us,” Hoog said. “We honor and thank the more than 22 million American veterans.”

Throughout his speech, Hoog made mention of several groups of veterans, who epitomize what it means to serve. He noted veterans serve in and out of uniform, to include teachers, civic leaders, fire fighters and police officers.  

Among these groups, Hoog highlighted the Doolittle Raiders – the group of bombardiers who mounted the first attack on Japan in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Hoog also mentioned Pedro 83 -- a unit of rescue personnel who received the Mackay Trophy Nov. 12, for their rescue of an Army soldier during a six-hour mission in Afghanistan, which included an exchange of gunfire. The trophy is awarded to the most meritorious Air Force flight for the year.

“Service doesn’t stop when you stop wearing the (military) uniform,” Hoog said.  “Many times our veterans provide even greater service when they leave the (military) uniform behind.” “Today’s generations of veterans is proudly serving just as the generations of those veterans who came before us,” he said. 

As Hoog concluded, he noted the sacrifice of both service members and their families.

“Collectively, our nation owes our veterans, and more important, their families a debt that can never be paid,” Hoog said.  “On this Veterans Day, I salute all veterans – past and present.”