123rd Airlift Wing unveils latest plaques honoring retirees

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt James W. Killen
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The newest retirees from the Kentucky Air National Guard were honored April 12 when two black-granite plaques inscribed with their names were unveiled during a ceremony here.

The plaques join six others dating back to the first retirement in 1962 and honor those who have devoted much of their lives to the service of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Kentucky Air National Guard.

The annual unveilings started 11 years ago as "a way of permanently enshrining the people who have really been the cornerstone of what the Kentucky Air National Guard is all about and the excellence we have shown through the years," said Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, the adjutant general for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

This year's ceremony honored the 46 Airmen who retired in 2013.

"We've been here since 1947, and the legacy that has been left by the people whose names are on these plaques is incredible," said Col. Barry Gorter, commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing. "We're out here today to carry forward the legacy of excellence that has been handed down to us by all of you."

The director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, also spoke at the ceremony, addressing an audience comprised of current and former members of the Kentucky Air Guard and their families.

"For the members who are retiring, I want to tell you that this is special because your family is here, your friends are here, and your community is here," Clarke said.

The plaques, which line the front of the 123rd Airlift Wing's Lt. Gen. John B. Conaway Headquarters Building, were donated by the non-profit Kentucky Air National Guard Retiree Group.