Wing Honors 'Hometown Heroes'

  • Published
  • By Capt. Wayde Minami
  • 175th Wing Public Affairs
Members of the Maryland Air National Guard's 175th Wing who deployed in support of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq were honored today at a ceremony at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Md.

The Hometown Heroes Salute ceremony, in which returning members were presented with a personalized award commemorating their overseas service, was attended by Gov. Martin O'Malley; Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger; Brig. Gen. James Adkins, the adjutant general of Maryland, and other dignitaries.

During the ceremony, 10 members representing more than 1,200 Maryland Air Guardsmen who have deployed since Sept. 11, 2001, were honored - one for each year since the war began.

The Hometown Heroes Salute is a tiered program, wherein military members and their families are recognized based on the length of their deployment. Guardsmen who have deployed for 30 to 179 days receive a framed letter of appreciation from the director of the Air National Guard and the Air National Guard command chief. Members who deployed for 180 to 365 consecutive days receive a framed American flag. Members deployed for longer periods of time receive a statue of an eagle.