Armed Forces Day
By Master Sgt. Nancy Ausland, 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 15, 2011
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - -- The annual Armed Forces Day event at the Sioux Falls Veterans Administration Health Care system was held on May 21 with more than 50 members of the 114th Fighter Wing participating.
Each year, the unit has supported this event with members who serve both on the Honor Guard and in the Avenue of Flags. This year was no different with the unit providing more than 40 members on the Avenue of Flags and two members of the Honor Guard who presented and retired the colors.
The Avenue of Flags is an impressive showing of men and women of today's Armed Forces presenting 100 American Flags along the road leading to the Veterans Administration Hospital. Members post the flags along the avenue where they remain throughout the ceremony.
"I'm always impressed by the avenue of flags no matter how many times I see it", said Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Uthe, Command Chief for the 114th Fighter Wing and Co-chair for the Armed Forces Day Committee. "It gives you chills to see the flags being carried by the men and women of our armed forces and is a great honor that we bestow on all members past and present of the military.
One of those past military members is Vietnam Veteran Jack Gill. Jack is a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and served as a Spc. 4th Class in the Army during the Vietnam War.
"I come to this ceremony to honor all members of the military, but my heroes are the veterans of World War II, they are the ones who really inspired me to be in the military" said Jack Gill. Jack lives in Sioux Falls and has family members that also serve in the military with one nephew in the active duty Army and another nephew in the Army National Guard.
Also a part of the event is the presentation by the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Military & Veterans Affairs Committee of their outstanding achievement awards. These are presented to four reservists or guardsmen from the Sioux Falls area for outstanding service to their country and community. This year's recipient for the South Dakota Air National Guard was Master Sgt. Terry Jones, 114th Security Forces Squadron Flight sergeant.
The annual event also included a Sioux Falls Municipal Band concert and a speech by South Dakota National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Tim Reisch.