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Latest plaque unveiled to honor Kentucky Air Guard retirees

Retired Senior Master Sgt. Tony Pickman (left) and retired Chief Master Sgt. Tim Atwell unveil a plaque bearing the names of 36 Airmen who retired from the 123rd Airlift Wing in 2017 during a ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 16, 2018. The annual unveiling celebrates Airmen who served for 20 or more years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Vicky Spesard)

Retired Senior Master Sgt. Tony Pickman (left) and retired Chief Master Sgt. Tim Atwell unveil a plaque bearing the names of 36 Airmen who retired from the 123rd Airlift Wing in 2017 during a ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 16, 2018. The annual unveiling celebrates Airmen who served for 20 or more years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Vicky Spesard)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Thirty-six former members of the 123rd Airlift Wing were honored here Sept. 16 when a plaque bearing their names was unveiled in front of the Lt. Gen. John B. Conaway Headquarters Building at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base.

The black granite tablet recognizes Airmen who completed 20 or more years of service and retired from the Kentucky Air National Guard in 2017. A series of other plaques honors retirees dating all the way back to the unit's inception in 1947.

“A legacy is built on the foundation laid by those who have come before us,” said Col. Jeffrey L. Wilkinson, commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, during the unveiling ceremony. “This legacy of excellence and service exists thanks to the commitment and values of the leaders who preceded us.

“I am honored to stand here on behalf of the men and women of the 123rd Airlift Wing to express our gratitude and appreciation to our retirees for their leadership, excellence and faithful service,” he continued. “We stand ready to bring all our capabilities to bear in service to our nation, whether at home or abroad, and with true sincerity and respect, I thank all of our retirees for your service and contribution to the legacy of excellence that is the Kentucky Air National Guard.”

The annual plaque unveilings are made possible through donations from the non-profit Kentucky Air National Guard Retiree Group Inc.