LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (June 1, 2012) - Since the dawn of war, epic battles have inspired songs and stories of bravery, courage, heroism and selfless service; and sometimes the warriors who fought those battles have become legends themselves.
Members of the Legion of Valor pose for a group photograph at Langley Air Force Base, Va., during a tour of the base, May 31, 2012. During the visit, members watched an F-22 Raptor aerial demo, toured the aircraft and participated in a memorial service, honoring the members that passed away since their last annual meeting. Photo by Senior Airman Wesley Farnsworth
Thirty-eight members of the Legion of Valor, all of whom received either the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross or Air Force Cross came to Langley Air Force Base, Va., to meet with airmen and tour the base, May 31.
"The amazing individuals in this organization are truly national treasures," said retired U.S. Marine Col. Susan Malone, wife of Navy Cross recipient George Malone - who also attended the event.
During their visit, Legion members watched an F-22 Raptor aerial demonstration, toured the aircraft and participated in a memorial service honoring the members who passed away throughout the year. All along the way, the group exchanged stories and experiences with the men and women currently serving at Langley.
"It's a great thing for all of us, especially our airmen," said Col. Kevin Robbins, 1st Fighter Wing commander.
Robbins' feeling of appreciation was shared by Legion member as well. After observing a Raptor in flight, former 1st FW pilot James Kunkle said of the technologically advanced aircraft, "awesome is an understatement."
Kunkle, who flew P-57 Mustangs in World War II, received the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy near Aachen, Germany, Sept. 16, 1944.
In addition to meeting with active-duty military personnel, the Legion supports educational programs such as ROTC, presents awards to charities, provides guest speakers to special events and provides an environment for the members to reminisce about their shared experiences.
Donald Marx, the Legion's national commander, described the organization as, "a pretty close fraternity." He said the members share a special bond, a common language and understanding, and never refer to each other by rank - which ranges from private first class to four-star general.
Regardless of rank or generation, and no matter what acts of valor they performed, these war-heroes themselves often express respect for the accomplishments of the men and women in the military service today.
"I'm so proud of you," Kunkle said, "All of you."
By USAF Tech. Sgt. Barry Loo
Provided through DVIDS
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