Hometown Heroes Salute

  • Published
  • By Maj Sandra Stoquert
  • 174th Attack Wing
The 174th Attack Wing (ATKW) recognized eighty-three Airmen and their families during a Hometown Hero Salute ceremony that took place at the Air Guard base in Syracuse on Saturday. Speakers at the event included Commander of the New York Air National Guard, Maj. Gen. Verle Johnston along with the 174th Attack Wing Commander, Colonel Greg Semmel.

"From the perspective of the Air National Guard (ANG), the Air Force, and the nation, I think it's important to recognize the Airmen and to say thank you," said Semmel. "We're still a volunteer service and we get those that serve from individuals that raise their hands and say, "I volunteer to go overseas and do the mission," so it's important to recognize that volunteer service."

The Hometown Heroes program recognizes Airmen who mobilized and supported contingency operations for 31 or more consecutive days either serving overseas or here in the U.S.  since Sept. 11, 2001.

The Air National Guard initiated the program in August 2008 to celebrate and honor our Airmen, families, communities and those special supporters who have significantly contributed to supporting our Airmen and the Air National Guard mission.

During the ceremony, Airmen received a framed letter from the Chief of the National Guard Bureau containing a Hometown Heroes salute challenge coin. Children of the deployed Airmen received a unique Hometown Heroes Salute dog tag.

After witnessing her husband and son receive their awards, Penny Schreiber said,"I felt overwhelmed with pride and just so happy that they're doing what they are doing for our community and our nation. It makes me very proud as a wife and a mother."

The 174th Attack Wing was established in 1947 as the first Air National Guard flying unit in New York State. The wing currently flies MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft. They conduct combat missions as well as multiple training missions, including operating the Field Training Detachment (FTD) which trains all Air Force personnel on MQ-9 maintenance procedures, and the Formal Training Unit (FTU) which provides initial qualification training to MQ-9 aircrews.

To learn more about the program visit the Hometown Hero Salute web page at https://airguard.ang.af.mil/HometownHeroesSalute.