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Air Force leaders issue Veterans Day message

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy send the following Veterans Day message to the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force:

America is built upon the achievements and the sacrifices of veterans. On Veterans Day, we express appreciation and thanks to more than 22 million American veterans, including 4 million veterans of the United States Air Force.

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 that can never be fully repaid.

Following in the footsteps of previous generations, you -- today's Airmen -- continue to answer the Nation's call. In all of 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 thanks.

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