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Commander's Veterans Day Message

BUCKLEY AFB, Colo. -- 140th Wingmen,

As we anxiously approach the long weekend, I want to take a moment to reflect on the importance of this upcoming holiday. Veterans Day gives us an opportunity to appreciate what it truly means to live in freedom and to honor the men and women, past and present, who have made great sacrifices in the defense of our liberty.

Throughout our history, millions have put on a uniform and fought for our nation in military service; more than 1.3 million Americans have died as a result of military conflict. We would not enjoy the United States as we know it today without the sacrifices of each and every one of those service members. We owe an enormous amount of gratitude to these brave men and women who have selflessly served before us and taken up arms to defend a way of life where all people can determine their own futures, free of oppression and fear. As fellow Americans, let us never forget those who fought for our freedom, and let us celebrate the lives of those who have truly made America the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Today, we serve amongst the very few who have agreed to continue the fight for our nation's freedom. Less than one percent of Americans serve in the Armed Forces and you should be proud to have raised your hand voluntarily. Over the last decade, our country has asked much of our men and women, fighting for our values and ideals far from home. You have made sacrifices again and again, leaving your loved ones behind to support our nation's cause in foreign lands. To our Traditional Guardsmen, while you may not be at work full-time, your full-time commitment to service is evident in your willingness to leave your civilian lives behind whenever necessary and devote yourselves to the peace and security of our nation. You are able to transition from the working force to the fighting force with grace and resiliency, able to tackle a myriad of challenges throughout the nation and the world.

Not only do you fight the nation's wars, you serve our very own community by coming to the rescue in times of greatest need. I've witnessed hundreds of Guardsmen raise their hands to help fellow Coloradans in response to the devastating wildfires and floods this year alone and no mission is as critical as neighbors helping neighbors. You made the Colorado National Guard shine and our community knows now more than ever that we are here for them.

Thank you for standing by your commitment to serve and never ceasing to answer our nation's call. During this time of persistent conflict, for the better part of a decade, you have endured tour after tour in distant and difficult places; you have protected our homes from danger; and you have given others the opportunity for a better life. You and your families are heroes, just like those veterans before us, and I hope you feel appreciated not just during Veterans Day, but every day. You have proved yourselves to be more ready and more relevant than ever before and I am proud to serve with each and every one of you.

Sincerely,

Col Floyd Dunstan