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Hanscom ceremony recognizes military service

Hanscom ceremony recognizes military service

Former U.S. Air Force Capt. Nino Amoroso, center, salutes retired U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Dean Mottard, right, and former U.S. Army Pfc. Paul Megan during the seventh annual Salute to Veterans ceremony at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Nov. 8. Amoroso was the guest speaker during the event that recognized more than 80 area veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Saslav)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Hanscom officials honored more than 80 local veterans during the seventh annual Salute to Veterans ceremony at the base conference center here Nov. 8.

The ceremony paid tribute to the service of each veteran, many of whom continue to serve as civilian employees within the federal government.

“What’s really special for me is that there are a lot of people in this room that I had no idea [were veterans],” said Col. Chad Ellsworth, installation commander, during his opening remarks.

Airmen new to the Air Force who recently completed Security Forces technical training also participated in the ceremony. Ellsworth thanked Hanscom’s youngest Airmen for attending and encouraged them to take notice of the veterans in the audience.

“We all enter the Air Force for different reasons,” Ellsworth said. “You have now entered into a brother- and sisterhood that can never be taken away from you. Learn from our veterans who have so much to give.”

Former U.S. Air Force Capt. Nino Amoroso served as guest speaker for this year’s ceremony.

“We are still members of that special club, or family, of brothers and sisters in arms,” he said. “We now serve by educating and mentoring our family and community on what it means to be good stewards of freedom and liberty.”

Amoroso, who is set to retire from federal civilian service later this month, highlighted past and present military members.

“Remember you and your fellow veterans, as well as our active duty brothers and sisters, represent the best of the United States of America,” he said.

Following Amoroso’s remarks, Master Sgts. Jessica Labrie and Ryan Francois, Hanscom first sergeants, read aloud more than 100 names of area veterans from all branches of service while active duty Airmen stepped forward to salute each of them.

Retired Master Sgt. Dan Dillon spoke about the annual ceremony.

“It means a lot to me that this ceremony is held each year to recognize the service and sacrifice of military service,” said Dillon, now Hanscom’s deputy fire chief. “As Col. Ellsworth noted in his remarks, many of us continue our service in a different uniform.”

The ceremony opened with a reading of “I am the Flag” by retired U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tim Martin, a civilian employee with the 66th Security Forces Squadron, and closed with “In Flanders Fields” by former U.S. Air Force Capt. Jerry Sorensen, now Hanscom's deputy civil engineer.

Following the ceremony, many of the honorees went on a guided historical tour of Boston.

Other Veterans Day events honoring military service will take place around the local area Nov. 11.