Air Force Chief of Staff Honors Retirees, Praises Airmen
(October 27, 2010)
|SAN ANTONIO (10/25/2010 - AFNS) -- The Air Force's top
uniformed officer honored retirees and praised today's
Airmen during a dinner here Oct. 22.|
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz was the guest
speaker at the annual chairman's dinner at Air Force
Village, an officers' retirement community here, in
celebration of its 40th anniversary.
The general articulated the relationship between Air Force
Village, the legacy of the greater retiree community, and
the dedication of Airmen serving across the world.
"Abiding through the passage of time is the close
association between the Air Force, and Air Force Village,
and the greater community of retirees," General Schwartz
said. "This bond transcends the retiree community's
appreciation for the valiant efforts of the servicemembers
who currently serve, or the respect and admiration that
active-duty members have for those who came before.
"Indeed, this bond unites us, in common interest, with the
shared imperative of strengthening support for military
members and their family members -- past, present and
future," the general said.
General Schwartz said Airmen today face a number of
obstacles that affect the entire Air Force community, and
retired servicemembers continue to make sacrifices to help
the Air Force meet the demands of the current mission.
"Many of the challenges that active members face -- for
example, the increasing roles and responsibilities in the
midst of declining purchasing power, or longer and more
frequent deployments -- have a rippling effect on the
retiree community," General Schwartz said.
This confluence of increased demands and fiscal austerity
means that Airmen must find ways to offset increasing costs
that challenge the service across the board, the general
"It is no surprise that retired members of our Air Force
family perceived this need, and stepped in with
characteristic selflessness to fulfill it as well," General
The general thanked retirees for their dedication, and
reminded them that they continue to play a vital role in
"Retirees have volunteered hundreds of thousands of hours
serving communities and bases worldwide, saving millions of
dollars to be sure," General Schwartz said. "And I never
tire of reminding our wing commanders that retired Airmen
are still serving, and still exemplify service before self,
in many extraordinary ways."
General Schwartz also called on Airmen currently serving in
uniform to remember the sacrifices made by those who
preceded them in service.
"We owe retirees our gratitude," General Schwartz said.
"This is one reason why I enthusiastically back the efforts
of the Air Force Retiree Council, which meets annually at
the Air Force Personnel Center."
General Schwartz said he attended the 37th annual meeting of
the council in May, and had the privilege of discussing key
retiree issues and witnessing firsthand the pride, the
sincerity and the dedication of its 19 members, as they
represented the interests of nearly 790,000 retirees and
their surviving spouses.
The general applauded today's Airmen for their dedication to
the retiree community.
"Despite the nation's economic turmoil, today's Airmen are
generous in supporting the Air Force family," he said. "It
is a true testament of our Airmen's commitment to you."
General Schwartz also commended those currently serving for
continuing to carry out the commitments and traditions
handed down by their predecessors.
"Today's Airmen perform capably, admirably, and with the
utmost of commitment, just like you did," the general said.
"I'm always honored to stand by, with and for these young
men and women, and tonight is no different.
"These Airmen are your legacy -- the results of your
leadership, your loyalty, and your innovation over years of
honorable service," General Schwartz continued. "And when
today's Air Force is hailed for its merit, you -- the
retirees, spouses and extended family members -- share in
that praise, because of the foundation of success that you
helped to establish."
The general closed by reminding all Airmen, both currently
serving and retired, of their common bond, and he made a
commitment to continue to honor the legacy of all who have
"We all share a unique perspective of faithful service to
our country, and to those who have served before us,"
General Schwartz said. "Those currently serving are grateful
for your continued support and, most importantly, your
example. All those currently serving will do our best to
continue to make you proud of the Air Force that you
remember so well."
By David W. Roberts
Defense Media Activity
Air Force News
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