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Names of heroes
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. - Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Howard, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron superintendent, traces names of deceased servicemembers on the Traveling Wall, an 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Memorial. The wall is one exhibit of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, which stopped in nearby Clovis, N.M. March 13 - 19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)
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Airmen honor fallen heroes

Posted 3/20/2008   Updated 3/20/2008 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Elliott Sprehe
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

3/20/2008 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.  -- "The freedoms (the young) enjoy are only theirs because of the sacrifices of others," said Col. Timothy Leahy, 27th Special Operations Wing commander. "And their sacrifice will never be forgotten."

Cannon Airmen had the opportunity to view a testament to veterans' service March 13 to 19 as the American Veterans Traveling Tribute stopped in Clovis, N.M., at the Clovis High School.

The memorial travels across the country as a tribute of honor, respect, and remembrance to those who served.

It features various memorials dedicated to servicemembers from conflicts as far back as the Civil War up to the current Global War on Terror.

The centerpiece exhibit is an 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Memorial with all the names of those who died in the conflict.

Airmen from the 27 SOW contributed in a number of different ways. Colonel Leahy was a keynote speaker March 15, which was military appreciation day.

"We are surrounded by the memories of patriots," said Colonel Leahy. "Many...many... have made the ultimate sacrifice. They have fallen in the defense of our nation and our way of life."

Capt. Mae-Li Allison, 27 SOW Public Affairs office, read the names of 44 servicemembers from New Mexico who gave the ultimate sacrifice in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

The tribute was open 24 hours a day and was guarded during the evenings by military personnel devoting their time for those that came before them. Enlisted Airmen and company grade officers all volunteered their off-duty time.

"My dad was in Vietnam, so I wanted to be a part of his history," said Senior Airman Heather Wagnon, 27th Special Operations Mission Support Squadron. "I wanted to thank all those who passed on for being able to have my father here with me today."

Free and open to the public, it attracted people from across eastern New Mexico and the Texas panhandle to come out and show their respects.

The AVTT is based in Minnesota and the Traveling Wall, which was constructed in 1998, began traveling the country in the same year.

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