Vermont families, delegation send off Air Guard to Europe

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Vermont families, delegation send off Air Guard to Europe

Fri, 04/29/2022 - 4:36pm -- tim

U.S. Air Force Capt. Zachary Smith, a fighter pilot assigned to the 315th Fighter Squadron, 158th Fighter Wing, holds his child prior to his departure from the Vermont Air National Guard Base, South Burlington, Vermont, April 28th, 2022. The ceremony recognizes the sacrifices of Airmen and their families ahead of the 158th fighter wing’s deployment to Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard Mekkri)

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Air National Guard held a deployment ceremony Thursday evening to recognize the sacrifices of Airmen and their families ahead of the 158th Fighter Wing’s deployment to Europe.

“There are not words to tell you how immensely proud I am of our Vermont Air National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight, Vermont Adjutant General. “For our families and employers, I offer sincere thanks for your support. We simply couldn’t do what we do without you.”

During the ceremony Knight presented a Green Mountain Boy battle flag to two deploying Airmen. The flag is used as the regimental flag of the Vermont National Guard and accompanies units on missions as a symbol of the trust and confidence the Adjutant General places in the unit to succeed in their assigned mission.

“Like many other times throughout our proud Green Mountain Boy history, it is when we’re needed most that we are at our best--when you are at your best,” said Col. David Shevchik, commander, 158th Fighter Wing. “That time again is right now. I want to thank you and your families for all that you’ve already done up to this point and for what you’re about to do. We’re extremely proud of you.”

A Blue Star Banner was presented to a family member of a deploying Airman. Families display these banners when a loved one is serving overseas.

“Know that the Blue Star Banner represents your loved one, but also it represents the service of your household,” Shevchik said. “The support and strength of your family members and the pride that goes along with it.”

Governor Phil Scott and Senator Bernie Sanders also spoke at the ceremony thanking the Airmen and families for their service to the state and nation.

Photo By Tech. Sgt. Richard Mekkri | Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders poses with members of the 158th Fighter Wing and their families during a deployment ceremony at the Vermont Air National Guard Base, South Burlington, Vermont, April 28th, 2022. The ceremony recognizes the sacrifices of Airmen and their families ahead of the 158th fighter wing’s deployment to Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard Mekkri)

4.28.2022. SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Vermont Air National Guard