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NEWS | Nov. 14, 2014

We have the most amazing men and women serving in the military

By Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Hughes 437th Airlift Wing command chief

Joint Base Charleston Airmen and Sailors participated in last weekend's Veterans Day Parade in downtown Charleston. We had a formation of approximately 80 Airmen and Sailors of all ranks, from E-2 to 0-6. As we made our way out of the staging area and onto the official parade route the formation came to a stop for about 30 seconds. Standing on the very first corner was a man wearing a veteran's hat. You know the hat I am talking about ... usually blue in color with "Veteran" in gold print with decorations, campaign name, aircraft or vessel on the front.  It was at this instant, our Airmen and Sailors transcended. 

Chief Master Sgt. Mark Bronson, 628th Air Base Wing command chief, saw the veteran on the corner, stepped out of formation, shook the gentleman's hand, and thanked him for his service. Young Airmen and Sailors picked up very quickly on Chief Bronson's lead. Several also stepped out of formation, shook the gentleman's hand and thanked him for his service.

Along the entire parade route Airmen and Sailors spontaneously broke formation, lined up 10-12 deep, shook hands and thanked veterans for their service.  One gentleman, who was wearing a gold and red Marine Corp jacket, commented "you folks are about to make an old Marine cry" ... it was a sight to behold. 

The men and women who proudly volunteer to serve our great nation, past, present, and future, are amazing.