By Staff Sgt. Mylinda DuRousseau, Third Army Public Affairs

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (July 6, 2011) " Of the less than one percent of Americans who serve in the military, whether for education benefits, adventure, or family tradition, more than 300,000 serve outside the United States.
It wasn’t a surprise for Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Hughes when his son followed in his footsteps and joined the Armed Forces.
July 6, Army Col. Robert Hughes, Third Army force management chief, was awarded the Legion of Merit for his role in support of the president in his initiative to shift the priority of effort from Iraq to Afghanistan.
As the force management chief, Col. Hughes was one of many responsible for overseeing operation Nickle II, the largest operation since World War II.
In recognition of his son’s efforts, Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Hughes, former 9th Air Force commander, returned to Shaw Air Force Base to present the award.
“This family’s multi-service dedication to their country is a reflection of Team Shaw today and further fortifies an already strong foundation.” said Lt. Col. Tamatha Patterson, Third Army Special Troops Battalion commander.
Shaw AFB has a longstanding partnership with the Army, beginning in 1941 when Shaw Field was first activated under the Army Air Corps. Ten years later, Lt. Gen. Hughes served as group adjutant and fighter pilot with the 20th Fighter-Bomber Group at Shaw and returned again from 1973-1975.
As a child, Col. Hughes attended school at St. Anne’s Elementary here, in 2011 he once again returned to Shaw AFB, this time as a part of Third Army.
The award ceremony was another example of the long standing relationship Third Army has with 9th Air Force and the Sumter community.
“Team Shaw [Third Army, 9th Air Force and 20th Fighter Wing] aims to be a leader for all of the Department of Defense in achieving the ideal of a joint base.” said Col. Jerry O’Hara, Third Army spokesman.