Deployed Airmen and family members honored, recognized for service

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. James Lieth
  • 155th Air Refueling Wing
LINCOLN, Neb. - Ninety-two Airmen from the Nebraska Air National Guard's 155th Air Refueling Wing were recognized during a Hometown Heroes Salute ceremony at the Nebraska National Guard air base, in Lincoln, Neb., April 6.

   The purpose of the ceremony was to recognize the members who deployed in 2012.

   The ceremony was also meant to thank family members who were "there for the tough times, the times we have to deploy," said Col. Keith Schell, commander of the 155th ARW.

   Maj. Gen. Judd Lyons, Nebraska National Guard's adjutant general, personally thanked family members for the sacrifices they made while their loved ones were deployed.

   The Airmen were split into three tiers, with tier one members deploying for 30-179 days, tier two members deploying for 180-365 days, and tier three members deploying for 366 consecutive days. All members received a special Center-of-Influence Medallion intended to be presented to someone who supported them and their family during their deployment.
   Tier one members also received a special letter of appreciation with a Hometown Heroes Salute coin and their spouse or significant other received a rosewood pen and pencil set, while their children received Hometown Hero Salute logo-engraved dog tags. 
   Tier two members also received a flag framed in a rosewood box and their spouse or significant other received a lapel pen or bracelet, while their children received a Hometown Heroes Salute cinch sack. The tier three members received an eagle statue and their spouse or significant other received a crystal bowl, while their children also received a Hometown Heroes Salute cinch sack.

   During the ceremony, recent retirees, Community College of the Air Force graduates, and several community volunteers were also recognized. The 155th ARW was also presented with their 11th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon to be placed on the 155th ARW guidon.

   "The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is just a way of showing... and certifying what we already knew," said Lyons. "That you are great Airmen."