The Air Force story--our story

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- This month marks the culmination of a story - a story that has been driven forward by men and women who dared to test the limits of our technology and our imagination. Our story - that of both the Air Force and of Air Force Space Command - has been one of unique character and aspiration.

It's a story of visionaries like Gens. Billy Mitchell, Hap Arnold, and Bernard Schriever. It's a story of legendary combat units like the Flying Tigers, the Doolittle Raiders, and the Tuskegee Airmen. It's a story of warrior-heroes like Staff Sgt. William Pitsenbarger, Sgt. John Levitow, Capt. Lance Sijan.

But most of all, it's the story of people whose names you haven't heard. It's the recruit arriving at Lackland, who's just starting to realize what he's gotten himself into. It's the military training instructor who takes that recruit under his wing and diligently trains him in the ways of the Airman.

It's the colonel who retires at 26 years, and the lieutenant who punches out at four. It's the "satellite flyer" at his console in Colorado, and the finance officer who finds himself pulling convoy duty in Iraq. It's the guy who always dreamed of joining, and the guy who only signed up because his buddies did, and it became the best decision of his life.

The Air Force story is our story. No matter who we are, what we do, or for how long, we will always be a part of that story, and it will always be a part of us. As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Air Force, and the 25th Anniversary of Space Command, we celebrate our own accomplishments, and take pride.