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One of my employees is a National Guard Airman with the 177th Air Wing stationed in Egg Harbor NJ. yesterday was employer appreciation day. I was invited to attend the event.

The day started for the 30 or so invited guests and their employee Airmen at 0700 with a briefing by the CO about the Wing, what their mission is and how they support the Air Force. I did not know that Reserves and Regular Air Force worked together. Also a surprise is how much the National Guard gets done on a fifth of the AF budget.

After the briefing we all took a bus to a hanger where the F-16's used by the Wing are maintained. There are different crews for ordinance, engine and various systems on the aircraft. The young men and woman were extremely knowledgable about their scopes of work. We also got to speak with the pilots who fly the jets.

We all boarded the bus after the up close and personal with the aircraft and personnel for a trip to the target training area 35 miles away. From there we got to see the f-16's in action running target practice. The best way I can describe the experience...it was like watching a super fast roller coaster without a track. From nowhere without a sound the F-16's would appear diving for the ground then just as fast they would shoot straight up and roll out to where they looked like a black dot in the air space above. Just before you see the jet, the roar is deafening. Then they are gone. They apparently always travel in pairs and with a spotter on the ground can hit a target to within 1 meter.

John is the third National Guardsman I've had working with me. For one weekend a month and two weeks a year they receive their training. John is now deployed for a 6 month duty. He will be leaving his wife and new born son behind while he defends our country.

Please thank a Vet or active serviceman this weekend and consider what the world would be like without these fine young men and woman who volunteered to serve. :gba:
 

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I didn't serve my country but I am very grateful and thankful to all those that did. Especially those that made the ulitmate sacrifice. Thank you very much, Carmine.
 

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:flag6: :flag4: :flag6:
 

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I spent 27 yrs. in the South Carolina Air National Guard, we also had F-16's. It was a great time and I surely do miss it. One thing that makes the Guard so great is employers like yourself that protect these airman's positions while being deployed from their families. Its great to know your job is secure while away serving your country. Thank you for your support. :gba:
 
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