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President sends birthday message to Airmen

WASHINGTON -- The following message was sent by President Barack Obama to the men and women of the U.S. Air Force:

I send greetings to all those celebrating the 63rd birthday of the United States Air Force.

As men and women of the greatest air power the world has ever known, you follow in the footsteps of fellow patriots who have taken to the sky to protect our freedom and security since the earliest days of aviation. Through times of war and peace, our Airmen have strengthened our nation, protected our freedoms, and kept us safe with their unsurpassed depth and breadth of skill.

Today, the United States Air Force continues soaring to new heights, and Airmen bravely serve on the home front and in combat operations around the globe. These Airmen have also provided critical support for international relief efforts, including humanitarian missions after the tragic earthquake in Haiti and catastrophic flooding in Pakistan. Regardless of the task, the men and women of the Air Force execute their mission to fly, fight and win with excellence and integrity, exemplifying the very best of America.

On behalf of a grateful nation, I thank you for your service. As you celebrate this milestone, I hope you look back with pride on the tremendous accomplishments of this proud branch of our military. May God bless all our men and women in uniform, and may God bless the United States of America.