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Annual Salute to Veterans event held

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

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base officials paused to thank more than 90 local veterans during the annual Salute to Veterans event at the conference center here Nov. 9.

The guest speaker for the ceremony was Col. Taona Enriquez, installation commander.

“Despite the risk and sacrifice, you raised your hand to serve and forged the path for those currently serving,” she said. “I salute each of you today for your service.”

The commander also thanked family members.

“I’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge those families of the veterans who helped shoulder the weight of war and burdens of sacrifice,” Enriquez said. “Your resilience is the backbone of this nation and that will never be forgotten.”

She encouraged veterans to share their history.

“I ask you to be vocal and pass on your stories and experiences,” said Enriquez. “Help others of all ages understand the patriotism in your soul and the love of country in your heart.”

The ceremony included a formation of currently serving Airmen saluting each veteran after Master Sgts. Jeremi Isaacs, 66th Comptroller Squadron Financial Operations Flight chief, and Lesli Pape, 66th Air Base Group Equal Opportunity noncommissioned officer in charge, read names aloud.

Following the ceremony, Isaacs spoke about the significance of recognizing those who have served to build the military we know today.

“Greatness is not easily accomplished; it’s based on the people prior to us and the sacrifice of their service,” he said.

The oldest veteran attending the ceremony was 91-year-old retired Col. Clarence Dixon.

“I’ve had a lot more people come up in the past few years to thank me for my service than ever before,” said Dixon, who retired 40 years ago while assigned to the then-Electronics Systems Division here.

Each veteran was identified with a medallion around their neck, while many wore hats representing their service component or combat conflict served.

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