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Air Force Leaders send Veterans Day message

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody (U.S. Air Force photo)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody (U.S. Air Force photo)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James (U.S. Air Force photo)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James (U.S. Air Force photo)

Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III (U.S. Air Force photo)

Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III (U.S. Air Force photo)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- (Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody, sent this Veterans Day letter to all Airmen in Nov. 7, reminding them to proudly uphold the legacy of service interwoven in the Air Force's fabric. Airmen were thanked for their service and encouraged to thank fellow veterans on this day of remembrance.)

On Veteran's Day, we seek to honor and express our deep gratitude to more than 22 million American veterans, including four million veterans of the U.S. Air Force.

Past or present, each veteran has a story. Some served in wartime, others in peacetime; many were volunteers, others were called; some served days and for others the profession of arms was their life's work. All were heroes, and all deserve our thanks.

The freedoms we enjoy each day were fought for and secured through the sacrifices of the men and women of our armed forces. We especially honor and remember those who lost their lives to help defend our nation, and we give thanks to the families whose support made their loved ones' service possible. Collectively, our nation owes our veterans and their families a debt than can never be fully repaid.

Following the footsteps of previous generations, you - today's Airmen - continue to answer the nation's call. In all your missions, whether serving in overseas contingency operations, providing disaster relief at home and abroad, or protecting the skies above the United States, your commitment and professionalism reflects our veterans' proud legacy of devoted service. You too have earned our nation's gratitude.

Our duty obliges us to ensure each generation understands and appreciates the sacrifices made, often at very heavy cost, by the men and women who have fought to preserve our freedom. On this Veteran's Day, please take time to reflect on our veteran's contributions, and thank those in your family and your community who have served America so selflessly.