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Vandenberg engages local communities on Veterans Day

Chief Master Sgt. Robert Bedell, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks at a Veterans Day ceremony in Guadalupe, Nov. 11, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. In observance of Veterans Day, 30th Space Wing leadership recently represented Vandenberg during various ceremonies, honoring those who have answered their nation’s call. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shane Phipps/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Robert Bedell, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks at a Veterans Day ceremony in Guadalupe, Nov. 11, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. In observance of Veterans Day, 30th Space Wing leadership recently represented Vandenberg during various ceremonies, honoring those who have answered their nation’s call. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shane Phipps/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- In observance of Veterans Day, 30th Space Wing leadership recently represented Vandenberg during various ceremonies, honoring those who have answered their nation's call, Nov. 11.

Bolstering community relations, Col. J. Christopher Moss, 30th SW commander, Col. Shane Clark, 30th SW vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Robert Bedell, 30th SW command chief, attended events in Lompoc, Santa Maria and Guadalupe, respectively.

"We are extremely grateful for the men and women of Vandenberg and I was ecstatic to hear the chief's speech," said John Velasquez, Guadalupe American Legion post commander and event coordinator. "Every year, Vandenberg sends someone out to support us on Veterans Day, and it really helps make our event a successful one."

Throughout the years, Guadalupe and Vandenberg have maintained strong relations, and the presence of the wing's command chief affirmed that unity.

"I'm so proud to be in Guadalupe because of the support we receive from the Central Coast," said Bedell. "We've been enjoying this support since 1941 when the base was Camp Cooke. Many of the military members, who were stationed here at Vandenberg, now call the Central Coast home. In fact, out of my family's 27 years, 12 of them have been stationed at Vandenberg. The veterans know the Central Coast appreciates them and understands the sacrifice that their families have given."

For the Guadalupe event coordinators, the event was a success and expanded the already extensive appreciation for past, present and future military members within the community.

"I think it's extremely important to always remember what those veterans did for us," said Velasquez.  "I love Guadalupe. The people are wonderful and constantly want to pay respect to veterans. It's an absolute honor for Vandenberg to send their highest ranking enlisted Airman to our ceremony. We already have a great relationship with Vandenberg but working together on ceremonies like this, only strengthens that bond."

In addition to reiterating his mutual respect for the local community, the chief urged those in attendance to always remember those less fortunate veterans.

"We can't forget those veterans who have returned home here, who have not quite been able to get back on their feet," said Bedell. "It's those veterans who are suffering unseen wounds that prevent them from returning to productive lives. Did you know nearly one out of every four homeless person is a veteran of the armed forces? Many suffer from undiagnosed conditions and we can't forget them."

With nearly three decades of service under his belt, the command chief concluded his address by expressing his appreciation, and attributing his military success to those who came before him.

"For those veterans with us today, I have a debt to you," said Bedell. "I've been able to enjoy over 27 years of service - and I know it's because so much was laid before me by all of you here today. It is because of you that I was able to utter that solemn oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is because of you that I have had the freedom to choose to join the ranks of the armed forces. I want to give a heartfelt 'thank you' to each and every one of you who came here today to remember all our veterans and their service to this great country."