October 4, 2006, - 2:44 pm

At Long Last, U.S. Air Force Dead Get Due Recognition

By Debbie Schlussel
My family is primarily an Army family. My father served several years in the U.S. Army and then the U.S. Army National Guard. And my Great-Uncle Maurice was a career Army man who served during WWII and rose to become one of the highest-ranking doctors in the Army. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor.
But my cousin, a U.S. Air Force Academy grad, is a career Air Force man, who served in Iraq and is still stationed overseas. So, I’m glad to see that all those Airmen who gave their lives for our freedom are finally getting a monument. It’s also good news for the many readers of this site who are active or retired Air Force personnel, who want the efforts of their branch of the military to be recognized and remembered.

airforcememorial.jpgairforcememorialhonorguard.jpg

U.S. Air Force Memorial: They Gave Their Lives So We Could Be Free

The Army, Navy, and Marines have one. And on October 14th, the U.S. Air Force Memorial will be officially unveiled on a promontory high above the Pentagon. Three curved stainless steel spires will arc up 270 fee in the air to honor the USAF, which will soon celebrate its 60th year in existence. (Ross Perot, Jr., an Air Force vet chairs the memorial’s foundation board and helped get it done.) The memorial will also feature a sculpture of a four-man Honor Guard and a glass contemplation wall picturing a “Missing Man” formation.
Check out the Air Force Memorial’s website.

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5 Responses

It is about time. I always said, if I had it to do over again I’d want to fly a A-10 Warthog, Now that is ground support.

mark on October 4, 2006 at 7:48 pm

Debbie:
Nothing wrong with the AF having a memorial but I think it’s funny that they have chosen to make a grandiose statement in a prominent location. I note the USMC memorial is a simple statue in an out of the way location. The Marines are the world’s finest warriors and don’t need to remind the public of their courage and accomplishments. Their actions speak for them. On the other hand, The AF has over promised and under performed since the establishment of the Army Air Corps. I think they would have been better served by a simple memorial reflecting their more modest achievements.

jerry on October 4, 2006 at 9:59 pm

I got to take issue with the flippant remark about Air Force . I have worked with several Marines who served in the 1st Mar.Div, who survived Okinawa. (Since they were in the 1st they were to be given the honor to lead the invasion, the tip of the spear against the Japanese homeland, projected casualties at that time were as high as over a Million) their next scheduled landing would have been Mainland Japan… To a man they were all convinced had it not been for the Air Force ending the war by dropping the A-Bombs on the Japs they would not have survived.
The same was true in England with the 8th Air Force they suffered per capita equal casualties to any branch of the service. 25 mission over Germany was the stateside qualifier, very few ever made it to that magic number.
The same in Korea and in Vietnam at Khe Sanh we were never denied any air support when called, even when our air field was being shelled , the C-130 would come in land and after awhile it got to the point of touch and go but they always made sure they dropped all the supplies we needed.
Service rivalry is fine but keep it in perspective, the Air Force deserves the monumnet. There were 19 Airmen killed in terrorists attacks in the Khobar towers no one ever mentions their sacrifice, you hear about the Marine Barracks in Beirut (1st Bn 8th Mar.), and the USS Cole where 17 sailors were killed by terrorists. Under promised, tell that to the POWs Air Men shot down and stuck in the Hanoi Hilton who were betrayed by Hanoi Jane Fonda, a fellow countryman. That their service was not up to par with the other services, Thats Bull shit.
Don’t cheapen what the Air Force has done by begrudging them their monument, their just due set in stone.
I won’t
Semper Fi.

mark on October 4, 2006 at 11:16 pm

While on average, the Air Force may not see the rigors of combat that we from the Army or Marines saw, their service and sacrifices cannot be deemed any less. They supply an invaluable service and if their base is attacked, they defend it with courage and honor.
Their dead from war are just as dead as the other services.
Good for them getting their memorial. Long over due, I think. America needs reminded often of the sacrifices so few from all of the Military Services have made for the betterment of all.

Lew Waters on October 5, 2006 at 3:33 am

Boy your dad worked at at army for a while and you are basically a military family. I am not picking a personal fight but is not it little bit too much to claim with only one immediate family member in the military for few years

thirdgoat on October 5, 2006 at 2:17 pm

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