Today I attended the Freedom Salute Ceremony which honored Derek and his fellow soldiers who served in Iraq. It was a very nice tribute to them. Scott Inman was the master of ceremonies and Gov. Beebe spoke and handed out awards. In all, Derek's unit was gone for 15 months. Derek is an officer and flies Blackhawk helicopters. Their mission was medevac. They rescued and transported injured soldiers and got them to hospitals. They even, at times, transported Iraqi civilians in need of medical attention. I'm so proud of the work they all did. One of the speakers said (not his exact quote) that freedom is not handed down from your parents. It's not in your bloodline or DNA. We are one generation shy of losing it. It's something each generation has the responsibility to stand up and assume. Wow! It really puts in perspective how important it is that there are men and women willing to go where they are needed to protect us. I am thankful for my husband and all the others that are willing to go where they are needed all around the world to protect my freedom. Here are some pictures from the day...
Scott Inman brought his wife and children. He said he thought it was important for them to be there today to see the ceremony. I was so impressed by that! He has three kids and they were so good all through the program!
Derek receiving a flag from Gov. Beebe. He also received a commemorative coin and a certificate as a "Defender of Freedom." They also gave the kids a goody bag.
I want to give a shout out to Billy Bob. He says he is going to start reading my blog! He is one of Derek's good friends and led their Bible studies in Iraq. He and his sweet wife are expecting their first baby in several months. In the background, you can see the aircraft they pilot, the Blackhawk.