• Members of the color guard render honors to the flag during the Veteran's Day Observance Nov. 11 here at Joint Base Balad.

    Balad honors Veterans

    Members of the color guard render honors to the flag during the Veteran's Day Observance Nov. 11 here at Joint Base Balad.

  • Staff Sgt. Alfred Salazar, sergeant of the guard, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and members of the multi-service color guard render honors while Staff Sgt. Anthony Sadler, an ammunition specialist with the 90th Sustainment Brigade, 13th ESC, sings the National Anthem. "I love it," said Sadler, a White Lake, Mich., native, said of the opportunity to be a part of the ceremony during the Veteran's Day Observance Nov. 11 here at Joint Base Balad.

    Balad honors Veterans

    Staff Sgt. Alfred Salazar, sergeant of the guard, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and members of the multi-service color guard render honors while Staff Sgt. Anthony Sadler, an ammunition specialist with the 90th Sustainment Brigade, 13th...

  • From left, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Kinnison, land based phalanx weapon system technician, 33rd Air Defense Artillery, Senior Airman Valerie Vasquez, diet therapy journeyman, 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group, and Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Price, a gunners mate with the Redeployment Assistance and Inspection Detachment, post the colors with the rest of the honor guard during the Veteran's Day Observance Nov. 11 here at Joint Base Balad.

    Balad honors Veterans

    From left, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Kinnison, land based phalanx weapon system technician, 33rd Air Defense Artillery, Senior Airman Valerie Vasquez, diet therapy journeyman, 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group, and Coast Guard Petty Officer...

  • Standing during the benediction at the Veteran's Day Observance Nov. 11 here at Joint Base Balad, from right, Command Sgt. Maj. Mark D. Joseph, senior enlisted advisor, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Chief Master Sergeant Paul D. Burgess the senior enlisted advisor, 332d Air Expeditionary Wing, and guest speakers retired Sgt Maj. Greg Miller, a field service engineer for Tapestry Solutions, retired Master Chief Petty Officer Learline Taylor, a security specialist with the 402nd Army Field Support Battalion, Army Material Command, and Senior Master Sgt. Al Garver, the senior historian for the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing.

    Balad honors Veterans

    Standing during the benediction at the Veteran's Day Observance Nov. 11 here at Joint Base Balad, from right, Command Sgt. Maj. Mark D. Joseph, senior enlisted advisor, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Chief Master Sergeant Paul D. Burgess the...

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Throughout the United States' storied history, millions of citizens have risen to answer her call to duty in times of tranquility and turmoil, war and peace.
Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen gathered at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation east gym to honor Veterans, both past and present, in a Veteran's Day observance Nov. 11 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.


The ceremony began with the presentation of the colors by the multi-service color guard team, followed by a rendition of the National Anthem by Staff Sgt. Anthony Sadler, an ammunition specialist with the 90th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).
"I love it," said Sadler, a White Lake, Mich., native, of the opportunity to be a part of the ceremony.


Unlike other ceremonies, the invocation and benediction were given by the chaplain assistants rather than the chaplains.
"My grandfather was in the Army, my uncle was in the Army, and my dad was in the Navy," said Master Sgt. Michael Bair, the noncommissioned officer in charge of chaplain assistants with 13th ESC and a Fredericksburg, Va., native, who gave the invocation. "So doing this was a way to pay tribute to them."

The benediction was given by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Dale McGavran, chaplain superintendent with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing.
"It's a privilege and an honor to do this," said McGavran, a Omaha, Neb., native.
The presentation also featured a rendition of "America the Beautiful," by Sgt. Denise Spencer and Spc. Jamal Wesley with the 159th Seaport Operations Company, 80th Ordnance Battalion, 90th Sust. Bde., 13th ESC.


"I was nervous at first, but it's a privilege to do this on Veteran's Day," said Spencer, an American Samoa native.
Two retired senior noncommissioned officers now working as contractors for the military here at JBB were invited to be the guest speakers.
Retired Sgt. Maj. Greg Miller, a field service engineer for Tapestry Solutions, remarked on the importance of celebrating Veteran's Day while deployed.


Retired Master Chief Petty Officer Learline Taylor, a security specialist with the 402nd Army Field Support Battalion, Army Materiel Command, spoke of her service and its everlasting effect on her.
Senior Master Sgt. Al Garver, the senior historian with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing was the final guest speaker. Garver related the story of a World War II hero whose parents declined a personal invitation to the Whitehouse by then President Franklin D. Roosevelt, because they thought the trip would be frivolous. They wrote a letter to the president stating the money they would spend on the trip should be used to help fund the war effort instead.


Garver equated this to the Families of Soldiers today and the sacrifices they make.
The ceremony concluded with remarks from Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commanding general of the 13th ESC.
"This was a truly inspiring ceremony," said Wentz. "The color guard, the singers and the speakers did an outstanding job, as did the (service members) who put this event together. It's important to keep in mind the sacrifices of all those who came before us and thank them for their service."

Page last updated Wed November 18th, 2009 at 03:25