More than 4,000 Air Force personnel will have to fight for their jobs on April 8 as they continue to defend our country against the threats posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).
In a ceremony in Colorado Springs, the Department of Defence will unveil a new plaque on the National Mall.
The plaque is part of a series of milestones, which commemorate the US military’s 100th birthday.
The new plaque will be on display at the Pentagon from 1pm on Wednesday, and will be unveiled alongside a series to commemorate the service of US Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
“We’re celebrating the legacy of those who fought and died for the freedoms we have today, but it’s a story of sacrifice and sacrifice of service and sacrifice,” said Chief of Air Staff Gen John Hyten.
Air Force personnel were on their way to Iraq in April to help with the US-led invasion.
They were in Iraq to support the war effort, but were not in any way authorised to carry out combat missions.
The men and women of the Air Combat Command, who were in Afghanistan at the time, were given orders to stay behind and protect Iraqi civilians.
Their mission was to maintain security for the civilian population, and protect the US airbase at al-Udeid Air Base, which was being used as a staging area for Iraqi forces.
They worked through the night, making sure the base was safe, and when they returned they did not see any signs of harm.
They returned to the US to continue their mission and returned safely to Iraq.
More than 3,000 of them are now in their 90s.
But there were some who were not.
They left behind some of their families and friends behind in Iraq.
Their lives changed forever.
The Air Force said the men and the women who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan were a “tribute to their service”.
“We are grateful for the sacrifices they made, and we are forever grateful for their service to our country,” said Hyten, who was joined by the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, Maj Gen Charles Hickey, and the Air National Guard, Col Peter Feltgen.
The ceremony was held to mark the Air Commanders Memorial Day and was attended by the chief of staff of the Army, Gen William Boykin.
He said the service was “deeply moved” by the sacrifices of the men who died in Iraq, Afghanistan and overseas.
“I think the greatest tribute to the men of the 82nd Airborne Division who gave their lives for our nation is what they did to ensure our safety and the freedom of our people, and that’s what we will always remember,” Boykin said.
“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the families of those fallen in Iraq for allowing me to be here today.”‘
I want them to live on’Army Brigadier General Robert “Bo” Johnson, who commanded the 82d Airborne during the occupation, said the memorial would “bring back a lot of people”.
“It’s a very important event,” he said.
“This will bring them back to life.
They were living on a farm or something like that, and they went back there and did the job.”‘
It’s been an honour’Gen Johnson said the sacrifices made by the 82st Airborne “made a difference to a lot people’s lives”.
“When they came out and fought, that’s the greatest sacrifice that they did.
They served their country with honor and integrity and made a difference in peoples lives.””
We all made mistakes, but I think what’s been the most important thing that we’ve done is brought them together as one unit, and I think that’s really important,” he added.
The US Air National Guardsmen who lost in Iraq have now gone on to serve in the Air Reserve, but many of them still live in Iraq today.
The families of the soldiers who died are being honoured at the memorial, and those who survived have been given a chance to pay their respects to their fallen comrades.
“You’re going to be there, and it’s going to feel like you’re part of this family.
It’s a huge privilege,” said Johnson.