Freedom Salute honors Det. 26, Operational Support Airlift Command for service in Afghanistan

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran pins the Governor's National Service Medal on Virginia National Guard Soldiers during a Freedom Salute for the Virginia Guard's  Detachment 26, Operational Support Airlift Command Oct. 26, 2014, in Sandston, Va. The medal was created in 2005 by then-Governor Mark R. Warner to recognize the service of the men and women of the Virginia Army and Air National Guard called to active federal service since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran pins the Governor’s National Service Medal on Virginia National Guard Soldiers during a Freedom Salute for the Virginia Guard’s Detachment 26, Operational Support Airlift Command Oct. 26, 2014, in Sandston, Va. The medal was created in 2005 by then-Governor Mark R. Warner to recognize the service of the men and women of the Virginia Army and Air National Guard called to active federal service since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

SANDSTON, Va. — Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard’s Sandston-based Detachment 26, Operational Support Airlift Command gathered Oct. 26, 2014, in Sandston, Va., to conduct a Freedom Salute in honor of their service in Afghanistan. The Soldiers returned to Virginia Aug. 8, 2014, after providing fixed wing aviation support in Afghanistan since October 2013.

Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Adam K. Thiel, Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Brig. Gen. Walter L. Mercer, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, were all on hand to honor and recognize the Soldiers and their families for their service.

Command Sgt. Maj. Carl Holcomb, the Virginia Army National Guard command sergeant major, congratulates a Soldier with Detachment 26, Operational Support Airlift Command during a Freedom Salute ceremony Oct. 26, 2014, in Sandston, Va. The Soldiers of Det. 26 returned to Virginia Aug. 8, 2014, after providing fixed wing aviation support in Afghanistan since October 2013. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Command Sgt. Maj. Carl Holcomb, the Virginia Army National Guard command sergeant major, congratulates a Soldier with Detachment 26, Operational Support Airlift Command during a Freedom Salute ceremony Oct. 26, 2014, in Sandston, Va. The Soldiers of Det. 26 returned to Virginia Aug. 8, 2014, after providing fixed wing aviation support in Afghanistan since October 2013. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

“This is my second such ceremony and it’s really a great honor to be here,” Moran said. “It’s very enjoyable to say welcome home and to salute you. I appreciate the opportunity to participate this morning and on behalf of Governor McAuliffe and eight million grateful Virginians, thank you.”

“Thank you very much for your performance,” Williams said. “You represented Virginia well. And to the families, thank you for everything you did while they were away.”

Soldiers from Det. 26 supported Task Force CEASAR’s electronic warfare mission and flew more than 800 missions over 2,200 flight hours. The company had no Soldiers killed in action or seriously wounded.

“These Soldiers are the very best in Virginia,” said CW5 Timothy Meeks, commander of Task Force CEASAR. “They served with distinction and honor. I want to thank everyone who supported us while we were gone, especially our family members.”

The Freedom Salute Campaign is designed to publicly acknowledge Army Guard Soldiers and those who supported them during the President’s call to duty for Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran presented Soldiers with the Governor’s National Service Medal. The medal was created in 2005 by then-Governor Mark R. Warner to recognize the service of the men and women of the Virginia Army and Air National Guard called to active federal service since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The award was first presented Nov. 11, 2005 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.


Flickr Photos:

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran speaks with Virginia Army National Guard Soldiers and their family members following a Freedom Salute for Detachment 26, Operational Support Airlift Command Oct. 26, 2014, in Sandston, Va. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran speaks with Virginia Army National Guard Soldiers and their family members following a Freedom Salute for Detachment 26, Operational Support Airlift Command Oct. 26, 2014, in Sandston, Va. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Related posts: