USAF Drill Team pays tribute to servicemembers for Memorial Day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tabitha N. Haynes
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
Gen. George Washington once said, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars treated and appreciated by their country."

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team paid homage to all veterans May 27 during a performance at the Historic Jordan Springs, Va., Event and Cultural Centre, for a Memorial Day event, titled "Remembering and Recognizing our Men and Women in Uniform."

The event was hosted to give honor and dignity to all veterans in the Northern Shenandoah area, said event founder John Lewandowski, who is president and CEO of Virginia's Disabled Veterans Committee on Housing. It was the first performance in over 100 years on the centre's South Lawn due to renovations.

"It honored the men and women who came before me. They worked hard and set precedence for us, and it is a great experience to carry on a tradition of honor that they started," said Senior Airman Hunter Overton, member of the USAF Honor Guard Drill Team.

This performance was memorable for new USAF Drill Team Commander Capt. Justin Hochstein, as well. It was his first time performing with the 16 Airmen team.

"It was a very special experience to perform on Memorial Day weekend for veterans from various services," said Captain Hochstein. "They were grateful to have us there, and it was an honor to perform for them. I'm excited to be on the Drill Team and am looking forward to opportunities such as this in the future, to pay tribute all of our nation's service members."

"I feel twice as honored to have them," said Mr. Lewandowski. "The Drill Team gives these people the opportunity to see the elite of the government, and of the U.S. Air Force. What they [members of the USAF Drill Team] want to do is perform and pay back as a tribute to the veterans, and represent the U.S. Air Force."

In addition to the Air Force Drill Team, this year's ceremony included presentations from a barber shop chorus and a Marine Detachment from Winchester, Va. Special guest Marine Sgt. Robert M. Moorehead attended to represent his friend and fellow Marine, Sgt. Sean Callahan, who died in combat April 23, 2011, in Iraq.

Along with Sgt. Callahan, Cpl. William Buckles, the last U.S. World War I survivor who passed away at 110 years of age February 27, and William W. Bone, a World War II veteran, were recognized with letters from Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonald.