Honoring those who’ve served: Proud heritage, boundless horizons

  • Published
  • By General Arthur J. Lichte
  • Commander, Air Mobility Command
On Veteran's Day, we pause to do what Americans have proudly done for decades - pay special tribute to the men and women who have taken the oath and worn the uniform in defense of our country. It's a remarkable tribute to our nation's spirit that every generation has provided citizens willing to go in harm's way to protect liberty.

Many times in our nation's history Americans have been called upon to defend the cause of freedom in the air, on the sea and on battlefields around the world. Whatever the conflict, natural disaster or crisis, our veterans have answered the call and performed their missions with incredible courage and distinction. The peace they have won is our treasured heritage.

Air Mobility Command has shared in the proud history of our nation's defense throughout the history of manned flight. Mobility Airmen have extended our nation's out-stretched hand of compassion to those in need, or its clenched fist to those who threaten our freedom. The air mobility legacy is visible all around us - from the history book's pages on the Berlin Airlift, to the relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, to today's support for the victims of the southern California wildfires.

AMC is engaged in the fight. We're saving lives with our aeromedical evacuation mission. We have tankers over hostile territory. We're delivering cargo to the right place at the right time, even to the last tactical mile. We're delivering about six Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles - MRAPs - to our ground forces each day, helping to save lives. And, since September 11, 2001, we have dropped soldiers behind enemy lines and offloaded more than 1 billion gallons of fuel to U.S. and coalition aircraft. This command is always in motion and firmly in the fight.

We willingly accept this responsibility - for future generations of Americans and to honor the Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who came before us. We are able to see farther today because we stand on their shoulders as we safeguard America's freedom around the world.

I am proud to serve with you, and I salute the veterans of all previous conflicts. As you pause to celebrate Veteran's Day, please take a moment to consider the contribution of those who came before us. I thank you and your families for your dedication, service and sacrifice.