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20th SPCS Airmen spend Veterans Day in community

FREEPORT, Fla. -- Lt. Col. Jason Burch, 20th Space Control Squadron director of operations, was the guest speaker at the Freeport Veteran’s Memorial Nov. 11. (Photo courtesy of The Defuniak Herald/used with permission)

FREEPORT, Fla. -- Lt. Col. Jason Burch, 20th Space Control Squadron director of operations, was the guest speaker at the Freeport Veteran’s Memorial Nov. 11. (Photo courtesy of The Defuniak Herald/used with permission)

FREEPORT, Fla. -- Airmen from the 20th Space Control Squadron greet students at the Freeport Elementary School’s annual Veterans Day program Nov. 7. (Photo courtesy Freeport Elementary School)

FREEPORT, Fla. -- Airmen from the 20th Space Control Squadron greet students at the Freeport Elementary School’s annual Veterans Day program Nov. 7. (Photo courtesy Freeport Elementary School)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As part of the 20th Space Control Squadron's Veterans Day observance, Airmen participated in several community events.

Lt. Col. Mafwa Kuvibidila, 20th SPCS commander, spoke at the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce First Friday breakfast Nov. 7.

The theme of the event was military and veteran appreciation. Attendees included many local business and community representatives, and more than half of the guests in attendance had served or are currently serving in the military.

Other 20th SPCS Airmen participated in the Freeport Elementary School's annual Veterans Day program.

The program invited veterans to represent each branch of service. After the presentation of colors by the Walton High School Junior ROTC unit and special music by the students, 2nd Lt. Cladarrius Jefferson, 20th SPCS crew commander, explained the history of Veterans Day and the sacrifice veterans, active duty members and families have made throughout the years and face every day.

In addition, Lt. Col. Jason Burch, 20th SPCS director of operations, was invited to speak at the Freeport Veteran's Memorial Nov. 11. Burch's presentation was followed by a presentation of colors and patriotic songs.

Burch recollected a story of a veteran very dear to him, his father, who received his draft notice in August 1966. Although he was the only child and not required to enter the service, he did anyways because many of his friends entered. Burch said that his father was wounded on a mission when his group made contact with Viet-Cong soldiers. He survived the attack and received the Purple Heart.

Burch ended his Veterans Day talk by conveying how proud he is of his father and expressing gratitude for those who have made similar sacrifices to defend our nation.

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