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Congressman thanks veterans for peaceful elections

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- More than 250 Airmen, family members and community leaders gathered at Heritage Park Nov. 9 to honor Veterans, past and present, in a formal retreat ceremony and listen as civilian and military leaders gave remarks about today's military.

U.S. Congressman Vic Snyder, the 2nd Congressional District representative, reflected on his time in the early 1980s in Thailand on a medical mission and how that country's government was overthrown with a military coup. However, he reflected on the U.S. military stating that "We had [Nov. 7, 2006] a complete transfer of power without fear."

He stated Veteran's Day is a time to remember the contributions U.S. service members have made for the nation, and that sometimes, "the civilian world takes your actions for granted." However, "The military makes peaceful elections happen," the congressman said. "I thank you."

Air Force veterans also had a hand in the election process in Iraq recently, said Chief Master Sgt. Brooke McLean, 314th Airlift Wing command chief.

"The struggle for democracy continues today; but the battle to be free is still fresh and on-going," the chief said. "Approximately one year ago, the people of Iraq had their first free elections in many, many years and those elections were not bloodless or without turmoil. Our forces ensured the people of Iraq had the opportunity to freely exercise their right to vote."

The Little Rock AFB commander summed up the event by thanking the formation of Air Education and Training Command and Air Mobility Command Airmen.

"Thank you veterans; you're the next greatest generation," said Brig. Gen. Kip Self, 314th Airlift Wing commander. "We've always been a militia nation; we make America the greatest country that has ever existed."

The base's senior enlisted Airman agreed. "Our Air Force is the most capable, most professional, and most lethal air and space force ever assembled," Chief McLean said. "People tend to underestimate how hard [our mission is]--just because we make it look easy."
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