PACAF/CC's Veterans' Day message

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- When we joined the Air Force, we became part of a special group--a group of Americans dedicated to a purpose larger than ourselves.

This Veterans Day, we honor all those who have served and who are serving--Americans who understand service and who know that freedom is not free.

The security and stability that 36 nations in the Pacific enjoy today is due in large part to the role our veterans played in places like the Hump in the Himalayas, MIG Alley in Korea and Thud Ridge in Vietnam. Today's Airmen and sister service members continue that proud heritage. While we are not at war in the Pacific, neither are we at peace. Those serving today understand the cost of security and prosperity.

Just as important are the sacrifices your families make every day. A high operations tempo, multiple deployments and living in unfamiliar surroundings far from home require strength and commitment. Eva-Marie joins me in personally thanking you and your family for what you do for our Air Force and our Nation.

Veterans like Billy Mitchell, Hap Arnold and John Levitow went before us and laid the foundation for today's Air Force. It's our duty to build on their legacy with integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do. As we do, I ask each of you to never forget that you are part of the greatest Air Force in the world - second to none.

I am proud of the work you do and proud of the legacy left by those veterans who came before us. Thank you for all you do as we continue to Fly, Fight and Win... in air, space and cyberspace.