Honoring those who serve; Veterans Day 2023

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Miyah Gray
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing, members of the VFW Post 4876 and the local community gathered to honor veterans during a ceremony, Nov. 11, 2023, at the Jackson County War Memorial in Altus, Oklahoma.

During the ceremony, “Taps” was played by the Altus Air Force Base Honor Guard, “Blue Knights” along with the presentation of the colors. After the performance, wreaths were laid at the base of the memorial by members of VFW Post 4876 along with Col. John Masterson, 97th Operations Group commander.

“The wreaths we lay are a memorial that stands for victory, bravery and peace. The circle stands for eternity and the red bow stands for sacrifice,” said Debbie Hurd, VFW Post 4876 auxiliary commander. “We place them to honor our veterans, who are very dear to my heart. My husband and three children have served as well as my father. It’s important that we honor our soldiers as well as our deceased.”

Following the ceremony, members of the VFW hosted a luncheon in which Col. Masterson delivered a speech about military history, his military service, and the men and women who served before him.

“Veteran’s Day is more than just a day off,” said Masterson. “It’s a day to remember those who answered the call to serve, leaving behind their families and the comforts of home to ensure our safety and preserve our freedom.”

Masterson went on to highlight the importance of honoring those who have served and continue to do so.

“The sacrifices made by these extraordinary men and women, often at great personal cost, should never be forgotten. Our debt to them is immeasurable. It is not just on this Veterans Day that we honor their service; it’s a debt we owe every single day.”