Base Welcomes Home Deployed Airmen
By P.A. Tezuka , SMC Public Affairs
/ Published December 07, 2007
Los Angeles Air Force Base -- Friends, coworkers and family members recognized returning Airmen stationed here at a "Welcome Home Troops" ceremony held in the Gordon Conference Center, Dec. 6.
Base personnel deployed to diverse locations including Iraq; Kyrgyzstan; Afghanistan; United Arab Emirates; Djibouti Horn of Africa; Pakistan; Qatar; Kuwait; Germany; and Fort Hood, Texas. Their deployments lasted from 120 to 365 days in an effort to suppress global terror.
Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, Space and Missile Systems Center commander, praised these men and women as the crowd cheered.
"How proud I am of each and every one of the individuals who returned from deployed status," he said. "You've heard the various places our people deployed to, but when you hear their individual stories, it is even more extraordinary.
"The Air Force is a key part of insuring we are contributing to the long fight in this war on terror," continued General Hamel. "It makes me proud to get letters from various organizations, services and commanders our people serve with saying their performance excel across the board. This means we have the kind of mission dedication and quality people that can excel in any other service.
"Your deployment will be one of the defining moments in your military career," he said. "And what you have done will be the defining experience for the latest, greatest generation. I thank each and every one of you for your service."
Five medals were awarded during the ceremony. The recipients were Maj. Ed Dane, Space Radar Program Office - the Bronze Star (Afghanistan); Capt. Ellen Ellis, Global Positioning Systems Wing - the Joint Service Commendation Medal (Iraq); Master Sgt. Nick Dober, Directorate of Staff - Army Commendation Medal (Fort Hood); Staff Sgt. Barbara Jordon, Space Superiority Systems Wing - Army Commendation Medal (Fort Hood); and Tech. Sgt. Richard Rositas, Space Superiority Systems Wing - the Air Force Commendation Medal (Iraq). In addition, each member was presented SMC coins from the general and Chief Master Sergeant Steven F. Crocker, the SMC command chief master sergeant.
The tribute was held in conjunction with the annual Los Angeles AFB Wingman Day. It was a fitting occasion held on the day when everyone was reminded of the importance of camaraderie and teamwork.