Duty and Honor

November 11, 2008 10:41:11 PM PST
Annual Veteran's Day events are part of the fabric of America. They're also a link between veterans of all ages.Those who have worn the uniform of their country can often spot each other in a crowd and you certainly could in downtown Fresno today. But two veterans could see it from high above that crowd.

From a 21 gun salute to the patriotic music of the sound of freedom military band ... The thousands of spectators who lined P Street in front of Fresno's City Hall welcomed the signs of patriotism. Sylvia Contreras's husband is home from Iraq now, but on this veteran's day he's on duty at his guard unit in Visalia.

Sylvia Contreras, Husband in Guard Unit: "I just want to say welcome home to all the veterans and all the troops and thank you for supporting our country and to all the troops who are serving right now."

The United States Air Force was honored by this year's parade organizers ... Specifically the 144th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard in Fresno.

It was two of the units' F-16's that roared overhead echoing what they call the 'sound of freedom'. Those jets were flown by two of the nation's 23 million veterans: Col. Clay Garrison and Captain Chris Corliss. They considered their fly-by a privilege.

Captain Chris Corliss, 144th Fighter Wing: "It's a great awe inspiring event to see all those people down there respecting and showing honor to all the veterans who have served."

Col. Clay Garrison, 144th Fighter Wing Pilot: "And Everyone around us, we have uncles, fathers, brothers, daughters - whatever that have all served. And this is the one day that we look to those who are living and we are able to say thank you."

These two Air National Guard pilots honored veterans with fly-over's in Fresno, Madera and Los Angeles. Two pilots, joining Americans every where in recognzing their fellow veterans who served their country.

Col. Clay Garrison, 144th Fighter Wing Pilot: "I especially like Veteran's Day."

Col. Garrison volunteers every Veterans Day and Memorial Day for fly-over duty with the 144th. He does so he says to honor both those who died in service to their country and to honor those are still living among us.

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