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Veterans Day highlights service, sacrifice

Veterans Day

The United States Air Force Academy Band marches during the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. The parade honored veterans and inspired community awareness while paying tribute to the service and sacrifices many have endured in the pursuit of freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Veterans Day

A member of the Warrior Avs Sled Hockey Team waves to attendees during the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. The team consists of veterans who participate in a sport after suffering injuries in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo)

Veterans Day

Members of United States Air Force Academy cheerleading team perform during the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. The cheerleaders practice two hours every day leading up to events like this parade in order to develop chant, stunts and routines to celebrate veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo)

Veterans Day

American Military Living History Association members march during the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. The living history group featured representatives in uniform from various periods of American military history, dating back to the Revolutionary War. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo)

Veterans Day

Richard Weakley, past president of the Korean War Veterans Association salutes the crowd during the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo)

Veterans Day

A C-130 Hercules assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing flies over parade participants and attendees during the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. The fly over was on behalf of Col. James DeVere, 302nd AW commander, and honored all who have served, both past and present. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo)

Veterans Day

A child waves the American flag on Tejon Street during the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. The parade board works to educate children of all ages about the sacrifices military veterans have made, encouraging them to participate in or attend the parade as a way of saying thank you. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo)

Veterans Day

Schriever Airmen escort a float showcasing the 50th Space Wing mission at the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. The parade involved hundreds of community volunteers and the local business leaders who came out to honor veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Veterans Day

Col. Jacob Middleton, 50th Space Wing vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Boston Alexander, 50th SW command chief, render a salute as the colors and formation of a high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment passes by during the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. The parade featured military personnel throughout the Front Range. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Veterans Day
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The United States and Colorado flag fly over the 2018 Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 3, 2018. The parade consisted of several veteran organizations, high school bands, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps detachments, local businesses and a C-130 Hercules fly over by the 302nd Airlift Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Veterans Day recognizes those who have served and continue to serve as part of U.S. military.

Throughout the Front Range, appreciation for the positive impact veterans have made can be seen through events such as the Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade Nov. 3, which Schriever Airmen and other local community groups participated in.

“Veterans have contributed not just in serving in the military, but they are often in the forefront for social changes in America – for example, veterans were among the first to make radical changes in the military, such as desegregation, and push for these actions in the civilian sector,” said Jim Mesco, 50th Space Wing historian. “They bring their military discipline, work ethic and new perspectives into the civilian workforce.”

In recognition of veterans, Congress passed legislation in 1938 to commemorate Nov. 11, the day World War I officially ended, as Armistice Day – later changed to Veterans Day in 1954.

“Though this day was originally established to commemorate those who served in World War I, it was later amended under former President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration to commemorate those who served in all of America’s conflicts,” Mesco said. “It became a day for all who served.”

Mesco said since America’s founding, veterans have been an integral part of U.S. society, sharing their accounts of conflict and adding a personal level to war.

Veterans are found on every level of society – they own businesses, work as government officials, are small town laborers and corporate businessmen.

Many famous Americans – such as Bob Ross, the soft spoken instructional painter who served as a Military Training Instructor in the Air Force, Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock and Roll,” who served in the Army and Johnny Cash, country star and Airman, are some veterans who set aside their personal ambitions to serve.

Schriever AFB veterans, both in and out of uniform, shared what their service means to them.

“My service was fulfilling, the jobs, locations, experiences and people made serving fun,” said Tad Davis, 50th Security Forces Squadron anti-terrorism awareness program manager who served 30 years in the Air Force. “The military taught me to treat everyone with respect and dignity. Also, to keep an open mind and listen to everyone's point of view and opinion.”

Dennis Daniels, 50th Contracting Squadron quality assurance program manager, said his service allowed him to gain a worldly perspective and shared why he thinks Veteran’s Day is important.

“Through 24 years and 10 assignments in the Air Force, I made it a point to develop my own opinion of a new location and was never disappointed,” he said. “Veterans Day is an opportunity to thank our veterans for the sacrifices they endure and to pay homage to those who have passed the torch.”

Mesco said Schriever AFB veterans play a vital role in shaping the space and cyberspace warfighting realms of today.

“Those who served at Schriever have been integral to the formation of the space and cyberspace realms today,” he said. “They made a major contribution to these assets – without them, conflicts could’ve been prolonged and they saved lives through their efforts.”

Davis said he is honored to have served.

“It humbles me to be a member of a group that has sacrificed so much throughout the history of our country,” he said. “If you see a veteran, no matter what service or age, please thank them for their service and sacrifices they have made to keep our country free.”