TAPS honors fallen Airmen by presenting Military Award to the Air Force

by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank
U.S. Air Force

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” – President Harry S. Truman

Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein accepted the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Honor Guard Military Award during the 10th Annual TAPS Honor Guard Gala March 6, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

“It is a distinct privilege to accept this particular award on behalf of our 670,000 amazing Airmen and their families who own the high ground in air and space each and every day,” said Goldfein. “Our loved ones are drafted alongside us to make a commitment to accept a life of service supporting those who maintain the demands of fighting and winning in the sky, on the ground and on the sea.”

According to TAPS, the Air Force was given the award because of their enduring commitment to families of fallen.

Founded in 1994, TAPS provides worldwide care to family members who are grieving the death of a service member and have assisted more than 75,000 surviving families, casualty officers and caregivers. They rely heavily on current and former military members to provide the support the organization needs to operate.

“It takes a rare spirit to observe a flag-draped casket or to be handed a sobering folded flag, and an even rarer spirit to then carry on with the courage to move forward, continually share your story, connect with others and be a support system for those starting out on their own journey,” said Goldfein.

Military life presents unique challenges. The Air Force is committed to taking care of its Airmen and families and has a wide range force support capabilities available for them. They are part of a truly remarkable family, said Goldfein.

“To those who lost the ones you loved and confided in – you also found yourselves trekking through the unknowns,” said Goldfein. “Nothing can be said that will forever erase the pain, but we owe our endless gratitude for your strength, sacrifice, and commitment. Together, you keep the hope, and you’ve walked in each other’s shoes. You are united by an important cause – providing care, support, and friendship by lending your ear, your heart, your mind and your time to one another.”

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