Celebrate birth of our nation safely this Independence Day

  • Published
  • By Col. Jerry Martinez
  • 62nd Airlift Wing commander
Next Wednesday we'll celebrate the birth of our great nation with more than 230 years of American independence.

And on that day, we show appreciation and give thanks to the men and women who made, and continue to make, our freedom possible.

I couldn't be more proud to serve with the men and women of Team McChord, knowing that each of you has volunteered to serve, aware of the risks and dangers that accompany defending our nation's freedom.

A perfect example of that dedication was shown earlier this week as more than 100 Airmen from our 7th Airlift Squadron deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

For the next several months our aircrews will execute our wartime mission, safely delivering life-sustaining supplies to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines serving on the frontlines.

As the 7th AS moves closer to the fight, we're set to welcome home our 8th Airlift Squadron early next week.

The men and women of the 8th AS have scheduled and flown thousands of hours, removing convoy missions from the perilous roads of Iraq and Afghanistan.

With little fanfare, our aircrews have quietly saved countless coalition lives by simply doing their jobs.

With more than 800 McChord Airmen now deployed from nearly every career field across the base, I hope you take a moment this Independence Day to reflect on the work being done and the positive impact this base is making around the world.

Thanks to each of you, Team McChord has achieved more than 2,000 days of continuous combat airlift.

Each one of those days represents long hours and many weekends spent away from home and family.

We should also reflect on the sacrifices of our family members toward ensuring our nation's strength and independence, we certainly couldn't do it without their support.

As you celebrate the holiday next week, please remember to keep your personal safety in mind as you plan your Fourth of July activities.

Fireworks are an Independence Day tradition, but instead of risking your safety or that of your family members, please find a local show put on by professionals.

Because I rely on you to keep our mission running strong, and because our continued dedication is needed to serve our nation's larger mission, I need every one of you to return from the holiday safe and healthy.

Happy Fourth of July!