Deployers officially welcomed home during celebration

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base officials welcomed home approximately 20 Airmen from deployment during a Hanscom Heroes Homecoming celebration here June 10.

Leaders held the recognition event outside the base conference center for personnel who deployed.

“I’ve never been someone who asks for much. We raised our hands to serve and at times that includes deploying,” said Investigator Charles Williams, 66th Security Forces Squadron. “This ceremony is appreciated and keeps the fire burning inside me.”

On hand was Maj. Gen. Michael Schmidt, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, and Networks, who served as the guest speaker.

“I would like to start by saying welcome home,” he said.

Schmidt encouraged Airmen to tell others about their deployment experiences.

“Whether serving outside the wire or in a mission support role, you have a unique experience to share,” he said. “These experiences have broadened your military knowledge and expanded your understanding of military doctrine.”

Following his remarks, Schmidt, Col. Katrina Stephens, installation commander, and Chief Master Sgt. William Hebb, installation command chief, presented medallions to Airmen.

“What you do every single day, whether at home station or deployed, it makes us who we are:  the greatest Air and Space Force this world has ever seen,” said Stephens. “I could not be any more proud to stand here as the installation commander and salute each and every one of you for what you bring to the fight.”

Attending the ceremony was U.S. Navy Capt. Tom Kelley, a Vietnam-era Medal of Honor recipient, as well as employees of the Boston Red Sox who had two World Series trophies on display.

Tim Martin, a civilian employee with the 66th Security Forces Squadron, provided a reading of “I Am the Flag.”

The homecoming event, held virtually last year and limited in 2020 due to the pandemic, has been held annually since 2007.

Base personnel were invited to participate in a parade following the ceremony to show their support and appreciation to the Airmen and their families.