The past couple of days have been a whirlwind. I took command of the US Air Force Honor Guard yesterday morning, and have barely had time to think since.
I have little time to post, so I will include an extract from my speech:
Now, to the men and women of the Honor Guard, I too am honored to be counted among you. And yet, I know that you do not seek such honor for yourselves, for that is not your mission nor your purpose. Rather, you seek by your commitment to the highest standards to give honor to your fellow warriors. When you perform your tours, drills, parades and ceremonies in flawless silver-piped uniforms and perfect synchronization, you have succeeded not because they remember the skill of the Honor Guard, but because they swell with pride for the selfless service and professional excellence of their Air Force. And when you bear with reverent solemnity the remains of a departed Airman to his final resting place, when you fold the flag and fire the final salute, you are not there as individuals, but rather as representatives of all of us, to in front of family, friends and assembled witnesses, “The United States of America thanks you. Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.”
Therefore, the honor of which we speak is now mine, but it is mine also to give, not to receive. I look forward to serving alongside you, that we may continue in this mission of giving honor. This is a purpose and a tradition worthy of our very best, as you have loyally demonstrated.
Finally, let me briefly express my thanks to those whose lifelong love and support I treasure. To my wife Richelyn, you are the love of my life, in whom I find great strength, inspiration, and joy. Brad and Gaille, I am tremendously proud of who you are and all you have already accomplished! Allen and Miriam, I will always give thanks to God for your guidance, your friendship, and your great and enduring influence on whom I have become. To those many here who have given of their time and energy to help me, push me, and shape me, may any measure of success I enjoy be counted as credit to your kindness and sacrifice for me.
Now, let us move forward and, by the grace of God, continue the tradition together. Thank you.