Honor America’s trust by being visible on Veterans Day

  • Published
  • By Col. Richard Murphy
  • 71st Flying Training Wing vice commander
Nov. 11 is a day set aside by our nation to remember, honor, and give thanks to our countrymen who gave some or all of themselves for our defense. It is a special day for the entire nation to celebrate their trust in our veterans' patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve for the common good.

The history of Veterans Day in America dates back to the end of World War I, "the war to end all wars." The 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918 signified the end of WWI, an armistice between the nations at war.

In America, "Armistice Day" evolved from focusing on the sacrifices of WWI veterans to honoring all of America's veterans when, in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared Nov. 11 as Veterans Day.

Does your nation honor your service? According to a recent Gallup Poll, American's trust in the military is currently over 82 percent. Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, our Air Force chief of staff, recently discussed this unique trust in our military at the Airlift/Tanker Association convention in Nashville, Tenn.

He said confidence in the military is at the very top of 16 measured professions including government, banks and public education to name a few. It should be no surprise when comparing the military to some institutions that have gone through questions about ethics in recent years. Most organizations may claim integrity, service and excellence, but few actually enforce these standards.

The American military is not motivated by profit but is driven by a higher calling -- a Patriot's calling to lay down one's life if necessary in defense of freedom and way of life. It should be no surprise Americans will pause to celebrate Veterans Day this year. You should too.

With confidence at the highest levels since Desert Storm, everywhere our Airmen in uniform travel they are thanked by their countrymen in airports, restaurants and stores. The message of your sacrifices have been received by the American public and appreciated.

You have earned their special trust above all others in our nation. For this reason, you need to be visible during Veterans Day celebrations. All of us are a reminder of those who served before us, on our own soil and in remote areas around the world.

This honor is not just for those of us in uniform. Fighting a war in today's environment requires commitment of the total force - military, government civilians, contractors and most dear to all of us, the sacrifices of our spouses and families. Our families are our motivation to get the job done right the first time and to work as a team accomplishing the mission.

How should we celebrate the confidence and trust our nation has in us and honor the service of those who came before us? Here in Enid, America, it is simple. The special bond between Enid and Vance AFB is no secret.

Gen. Roger Brady, who visited the base this week, recalled the great support he witnessed during his time in pilot training. This great friendship continues on and has stood the test of time since the base opened in 1941, more than 68 years ago. Clearly we enjoy the special trust and confidence of those who served before us and owe it to those who will serve here after we are gone.

In your honor, the city of Enid is hosting a Veterans Day parade downtown, beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 7. After the parade there will be speeches by Enid's Mayor John Criner and our commander, Col. Chris Nowland.

We will do our part by being visible to our fellow patriots with a T-6 flyover, honor guard and Lt. Col. Dave "Sparky" Merritt leading a formation of Team Vance members marching in the parade.

I invite you and your families to participate in the celebration. Accept the thanks of your fellow Americans, because as the Gallup Poll shows, they really do place their trust in you, above all others, for defending their freedom.