Guard members honored at Retiree Plaque dedication ceremony

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Joshua Horton
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
More than 50 former members of the Kentucky Air National Guard were honored here April 18 when a plaque bearing their names was unveiled in front of the 123rd Airlift Wing's Lt. Gen. John B. Conaway Headquarters Building.

The black granite plaque is the newest addition to a monument that honors Airmen who have completed 20 or more years of service and retired from the Kentucky Air National Guard, dating all the way back to the unit's inception in 1947.

This year's ceremony celebrated 52 retirees for the year 2014, along with one from 2013 and one from 2005.

"I've been doing this a number of years, and it's a grand event," said Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky's adjutant general. "Your names engraved upon these plaques bear testament to the fact that you're part of our family. Welcome home."

Army Gen. Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, also spoke at the ceremony, addressing a crowd of dozens of retirees, family members and Airmen wishing to pay their respects.

"I want to say thank you to the retirees here today for your service," Grass said. "Less than one percent of our population serves in uniform, but it's you all who have served 20-plus years and who have grown the leaders behind you. You've got to be extremely proud of that."

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