08/10/06 — A friend, a hero: Thank you Col. Lennie Coleman for serving community, country

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A friend, a hero: Thank you Col. Lennie Coleman for serving community, country

Characteristically, Col. Lennie Coleman, on his way out of service with the United States Air Force, was not eager to accept congratulations and thank yous for himself.

The longtime 4th Fighter Wing Mission Support Group commander just doesn’t think that way. So, as he celebrated his impending retirement, he turned every opportunity to honor him into a thank you of his own.

First, he reminded all those who would listen that he is proud to serve his country and will always be a member of the U.S. Air Force in spirit, if not in uniform. Then, he shared with friends and coworkers how, really, it is the airmen with whom he served who were the real heroes. And then, finally, he made sure everyone in attendance knew how much he appreciated his adopted home county — and how much this community has done to support the base and its airmen.

And that is what makes Col. Lennie Coleman special — and why he will be so missed by so many.

Col. Coleman has all the qualifications necessary to be called a hero. He has served his country heroically and has even been named to the elite Thunderbirds squadron. He is well-respected by his colleagues and has proven his muster as a person and as an officer.

So, the accolades he heard this week are indeed, well-deserved.

But he has also been a friend to Wayne County, making sure that he was as active a part of this community as he was at the base. He has offered his services to a variety of local projects and has been a cheerful, energetic face and voice at many community events.

Now, as he prepares to head to Colorado, Wayne County can say thank you and promise to remember the airmen he has charged us with supporting and protecting. It will certainly be our honor.

Published in Editorials on August 10, 2006 11:12 AM