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Remembering the sacrifices of our fallen heroes and their families

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- This Memorial Day I am very aware of the sacrifices being made daily by our American service men and women. My recent visit to our fine troops at Dover Air Force Base -- where our fallen heroes return with dignity --...

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- This Memorial Day I am very aware of the sacrifices being made daily by our American service men and women. My recent visit to our fine troops at Dover Air Force Base -- where our fallen heroes return with dignity -- was a vivid reminder of the cost of freedom.

As military members, Memorial Day is also a poignant reminder of the seriousness of our business. Air Mobility Command engages daily in key missions that are helping to win this war against terrorism. From tanker missions over hostile territory to delivering cargo to the last tactical mile, what we do is of vital importance to our nation in the fight for all who love freedom. We are engaged in this fight with the knowledge that what we do ensures freedom -- and extends hope -- throughout the world.

I'm also reminded this Memorial Day of how mobility airmen save the lives of fellow service members each day. More than 48,500 soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen have been successfully aeromedically evacuated since October 2001. Also, your efforts to provide airlift capability in combat areas keep more than 12,000 personnel and 5,000 vehicles off dangerous road ways each month, helping to defeat the enemy's improvised explosive device strategy. Despite these efforts however, we still lost precious and noble people whose sacrifice we honor not only on this day, but also in our hearts forever. We honor them on Memorial Day and extend their dignity, honor and respect with continued focus on the mission.

I am honored to serve with you, and I am ever grateful to our U.S. servicemen and women who have given their lives for our country. As you celebrate Memorial Day, take a moment to remember these brave men and women and their families. I thank you and your family for your daily service and sacrifice.

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