KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
A Veterans Day ceremony was held in Albuquerque at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Nov. 11, 2019.
The public event was attended by veterans and service members from each branch of military with their families, Air Force ROTC, Junior ROTC as well as state and local government leaders that came to show their support for those who have served.
“Veterans Day is important because it is a way to honor those men and women that came before us and served our nation through peace and through war time,” said Chief Master Sgt. Robert Stamper, 377th Air Base Wing command chief. “They contribute so much to society. They take the skills and experience they had in the military and bring it back to their communities all across the land. It is important for us to remember them.”
Stamper notes the contributions made by veterans started long before they brought their skills and experience to their local communities.
“Those first men and women that started out paving the way for the Air Force, they’ve accomplished so much over the years,” said Stamper. “They took us from World War II, through Vietnam and Korea to fighting the war on terrorism without missing a beat. The advancements that they have made for our service is incredible.”
The featured speakers included Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and New Mexico Army National Guard State Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Garcia. Garcia spoke about how those veterans who served as noncommissioned officers set apart our military from the rest of the world.
“They [U.S. adversaries] are so far behind us because of the professionalism of our Soldiers, officers and especially our NCOs,” said Garcia. “Our NCOs in all branches set us apart from the rest of the world.”
Stamper related the greatness of the veteran NCOs to the responsibility that NCOs shoulder here at Kirtland.
“For those NCOs serving today, the responsibility is greater than it ever has been,” said Stamper. “Leading the Airmen we have on Kirtland, taking care of the 108 different mission partners and the missions that each one of those have, NCOs have a major role.”
As part of the ceremony, attendees got a look at potential future leaders as U.S. Air Force Col. David S. Miller, 377th ABW commander, administered the Oath of Enlistment to approximately 40 recruits ready to ship to basic military training.
“This was just a great event for us as Kirtland Air Force Base to be able to partner with our local community, with the New Mexico Veterans [Memorial], with all of the Junior ROTC units that were on display here,” said Stamper. “It was just a great event for us all to come together to honor our veterans.”
A dedication of the war on terrorism monument took place immediately after the official ceremony.