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97 AMW, VFW, local community celebrate Veterans Day

Person places a flag next to a veteran’s headstone.

Airman 1st Class Kishawn Kelly, 97th Force Support Squadron customer support technician, places a flag next to a veteran’s headstone, Nov. 10, 2020, at the Altus City Cemetery in Altus, Oklahoma. More than 200 flags were placed next to the graves of veterans at the cemetery. (U.S.Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

Person places a flag next to a veteran’s headstone.

An Airman places a flag next to a veteran grave, Nov. 10, 2020, at the Altus City Cemetery in Altus, Oklahoma. In order to place the flag securely into the ground, volunteers were given tools to press a small hole into the dirt to ensure the flag went deep enough so it wouldn’t blow away. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

Person places a flag next to a veteran’s headstone.

Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing search for veteran graves, Nov. 10, 2020, at the Altus City Cemetery in Altus, Oklahoma. Volunteers split into groups and searched the entire cemetery to ensure they placed a flag on each veteran’s grave. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

Person places a flag next to a veteran’s headstone.

A headstone lies still, Nov. 10, 2020, at the Altus City Cemetery in Altus, Oklahoma. More than 30 Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing and local community volunteered to place flags on veteran graves as a symbol of honor. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

Person places a wreath at memorial..

From left, Larry Hurd, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4876 commander, and Col. Matthew Leard, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander, place a wreath during a Veteran’s Day ceremony, Nov. 11, 2020, at the Jackson County War Memorial in Altus, Oklahoma. During the ceremony, distinguished guests laid five wreaths to honor veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

Veterans lay wreath at memorial.

Deborah Hurd, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4876 auxiliary president, front, and Chief Master Sgt. Randy Kay, 97th Air Mobility Wing command chief, place a wreath during a Veteran’s Day ceremony, Nov. 11, 2020, at the Jackson County War Memorial in Altus, Oklahoma. Before the wreaths were placed, participants honored veterans through the playing of “Taps,” followed by an Altus Air Force Base Honor Guard team performing the presentation of the colors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

Colonel Vanderburg speaks at a luncheon after a Veteran’s Day

Col. David Vanderburg, 97th Mission Support Group commander, speaks at a luncheon after a Veteran’s Day ceremony Nov. 11, 2020, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4876 in Altus, Oklahoma. During his remarks, Vanderburg thanked those in attendance and encouraged them toshare their stories and experiences from their time in the service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4876 members and the local community gathered to honor veterans during a ceremony on Nov. 11, 2020 at the Jackson County War Memorial in Altus, Oklahoma.

During the ceremony, “Taps” was played, the base Honor Guard performed the presentation of the colors and five wreaths were laid by distinguished guests, including Col. Matthew Leard, 97th AMW commander, Chief Master Sgt. Randy Kay, 97th AMW command chief, and Larry Hurd, VFW Post 4876 commander.

“I hope today serves to motivate us all with a renewed sense of patriotism, purpose and pride,” said Richard Willey, Oklahoma VFW chaplain and member of VFW Post 8676. “America is truly the best country on Earth as a direct result of those who have served it.”

After the ceremony, all in attendance were invited to meet at the VFW Post 4876 to converse andeat a free meal. During the luncheon, Col. David Vanderburg, 97th Mission Support Group commander, provided his remarks on the importance of Veterans Day.“

When I joined the military, I thought I would just do four years and then get out,” said Vanderburg. “But it’s so rewarding, and I know a lot of veterans feel this way to.”

Vanderburg also spoke on the importance of veterans sharing their stories.

“You’ve done some amazing things, you’ve been part of something bigger than yourself, which ultimately is why I serve,” said Vanderburg. “So what I really ask of you is to share your stories with your families, especially your kids and grandkids. They may not understand, they may not know, and you’re the only person who can give them that view they wouldn’t have otherwise.

”In addition to the ceremony and luncheon, members of the 97th Force Support Squadron and Altus community also honored Veterans Day by laying flags on the graves of service members on Nov. 10, 2020 at the Altus City Cemetery.

“We’ll never forget the veterans, our brothers and sisters, who served before us and those who’ve paid the ultimate price,” said George Standard, VFW Post 4876 chaplain. “Without the sacrifices they’ve made, a lot of us wouldn’t be living in a free country today.”

ALTUS AFB FLICKR ALBUMS

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Altus AFB Flickr Albums