(From the left) Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Command Sgt. Maj. Earlene Y. Lavender poses for a photograph with retired Lt. Col. Miles Washington Jr., his wife Cozette and their daughter Marion Scott.

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Command Sgt. Maj. Earlene Lavender honored former Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. (retired) Miles Washington, Jr. during a ceremony held Feb. 28 at the HCR Manor Care nursing home in Arlington, Va.

The ceremony was coordinated by Manor Care Director of Activities Gloria Allen in honor of Black History Month.

"It was important for us to have members of our military present to recognize Mr. Washington and his accomplishments as an African-American servicemember," said Allen. "This was also a great opportunity to show our appreciation for his service and dedication to our county."

Representatives from JBM-HH and servicemembers from the U.S. Army Recruiting Company headquarters in Arlington joined Washington's friends and family members for the ceremony.

Special remarks were provided by Washington's long-time friend, and fellow Tuskegee Airman, William Fauntroy

"You don't know who you will meet in your lifetime who will give you a goal you want to reach," said Fauntroy as he described how Washington's friendship changed his life. "I wanted to be like him," Fauntroy said of his friend "Nick" Washington and explained how he followed Washington in joining the Army.

Together, they became among the first African-American servicemen to serve as Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. "We changed the world together," said Fauntroy.

Lavender provided congratulatory remarks and presented both Washington and his wife, Cozette, with Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall command coins for excellence in recognition of their years of service.

"You both served together," said Lavender, "And I thank you on behalf of the Military District of Washington Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, and the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander, Col. Fern O. Sumpter."

Lavender also presented a command coin to Fauntroy, thanking him for his service and his loyal, life-long friendship with Washington.

Page last updated Fri March 8th, 2013 at 00:00