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Connecticut Guardsmen celebrate vets for Veterans Day

A group of veterans poses for a photo op with 103rd Airlift Wing members Nov. 4, 2012, at the Little Sisters of the Poor residence home in Enfield, Conn. The event was the brain child of Kathi Carney, Director of Activities for the home. She reached out through a mutual friend to Chief Master Sgt. Robert Zukauskas who then enlisted the help of eager volunteers. (Photo courtesy of Chief Master Sgt. Robert Zukauskas)

A group of veterans poses for a photo op with 103rd Airlift Wing members Nov. 4, 2012, at the Little Sisters of the Poor residence home in Enfield, Conn. The event was the brain child of Kathi Carney, Director of Activities for the home. She reached out through a mutual friend to Chief Master Sgt. Robert Zukauskas who then enlisted the help of eager volunteers. (Photo courtesy of Chief Master Sgt. Robert Zukauskas)

ENFIELD, Conn. -- Last month, Chief Master Sgt. Zukauskas (Chief Z) put out the call for members of the 103rd Airlift Wing to come and share some quality time with some amazing people at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Enfield, Conn. Well, let me say it was an amazing time with some great veterans, their wives, friends and staff on November 4. Chief Z had a flag flown over Afghanistan late last year for the veterans of the home that was presented to them and let me tell you, emotions were running high. The tears of appreciation were flowing and they could not say "Thank you" enough. Next year, you don't have to come to the Little Sisters of the Poor, but please get out and visit with some local veterans. Let them share their stories with you and then be surprised at what they get out of you. But, you don't have to wait until Veterans Day to talk to a vet.

Back to the outing though! We had some of our own retirees attend so the 103rd AW turnout was fabulous. The day started with lunch and the home separated us by floors. It was a lot of fun, each floor had lunch and a group of us went to each floor, sat at different tables and enjoyed great talk and food. For some us who have attended for three years now, it was like sitting down with great friends and sharing a great time. When lunch was over, we all gathered together on the first floor, enjoyed a patriotic cake made by the staff and shared some more laughs. Chief Z then showed two videos, one on the history of Veterans Day and the other was a tribute to veterans. This truly is where the emotions starting flowing. Then, Chief Z read the dedication to the veterans and the home staff for the flag that was flown. What a beautiful moment as the Chief handed over the flag.

Let me repeat what each veteran said numerous times and for each of us wearing the uniform to remember, "Thank you so much for not forgetting us." Wow, what else is there to say after that? Thank you to each of you who were able to attend and thank you to rest of the 103rd AW family because it is an honor to represent such a wonderful group of people!