News: Louisiana Air Guard holds first Hometown Heroes Salute Awards Ceremony - Ceremony honors Guardsmen that have deployed
Story by Senior Airman Rosie Stahl
NEW ORLEANS - In conjunction with Louisiana's Army National Guard Freedom Salute Award Ceremony, the Louisiana Air National Guard honored 51 Airmen and their families in the first ever Hometown Heroes Salute Award Ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in New Orleans, May 17, at the end of a weekend filled with reintegration training.
In August 2008, Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau, sanctioned the ANG Hometown Heroes Salute recognition program. The purpose of this program is to celebrate and honor Airmen, families, communities and those special supporters who have significantly contributed to supporting our Airmen and the ANG's mission.
Recognized in this ceremony are Guardsmen that have deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Noble Eagle and other peacekeeping operations across the globe.
Command Chief Master Sgt. James E. Downing, LANG's Air senior enlisted advisor, was instrumental in putting this ceremony on. Downing met with the Salute Program Manager last November at a leadership summit where there was a briefing about implementing the Hometown Heroes program.
After the briefing, Downing told the manager, "I want Louisiana to be first."
Six months later, Louisiana Air National Guardsmen and their families were honored in a ceremony fitting of an American Airman.
"It was difficult being away from family and dealing with different situations," said Tech. Sgt. Robert Keyes of the159th Services Flight. "I appreciate this program."
The event was held as a joint ceremony combining the Army's Freedoms Salute Ceremony and the Air National Guard's Hometown Heroes Salute Ceremony with the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration program.
Reintegration training is designed to help ease the stresses of returning to civilian lifestyles and to connect service members with service providers who can assist them in overcoming the challenges of returning home. During the training, the Guardsmen and their families attended classes that focused on transitioning back to families, jobs, schools and their communities.
"These men and women represent our proud tradition of self-less service, professionalism and excellence, while serving our nation," said Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, adjutant general of the LANG.
This work, Louisiana Air Guard holds first Hometown Heroes Salute Awards Ceremony - Ceremony honors Guardsmen that have deployed, by SSgt Rosie Stahl, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.