Thoughts from ‘over there’

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Pat Sullivan
  • 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron
Memorial Day was especially significant for me this year. I’m currently deployed with dozens of Airmen from Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., many of whom have deployed several times since 9/11. 

Although we didn’t have the day off on Monday, the sight of a combat-damaged Humvee in our cargo yard on the way to work provided a somber reminder of why we are here. 

As we do nearly every day, we conducted combat air refueling missions on Memorial Day. Each of our Airmen played a vital role in launching, maintaining and recovering jets. They planned, briefed and prepared aircrews and flew combat missions. 

Those missions provided fuel to aircraft whose sole task was to protect our troops on the ground. 

At its core, our refuelings extend the combat capability of Air Force, Navy and coalition aircraft. I can tell you that all of us take a tremendous amount of satisfaction from our jobs. We know that we are doing everything possible to give our troops the best chance of success each day. 

From where I stand, I can’t think of a better way to honor America’s fallen warriors on Memorial Day.