09/07/06 — A new eagle: Welcome to your ‘new’ adopted hometown Col. Kwast

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A new eagle: Welcome to your ‘new’ adopted hometown Col. Kwast

During his remarks to the assembled airmen, community leaders and Air Force brass, newly installed 4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Steve Kwast told his airmen how lucky they are to be in Wayne County — and how lucky he feels to have been named their new leader.

The community support here, he advised those gathered at the base this morning, is second to none.

Well, Col. Kwast, we appreciate the compliment — and we will try as a community to live up to that reputation.

But, in truth, it is this community that should feel lucky — and does — to have Seymour Johnson Air Force Base within its boundaries.

We have heard stories of bravery, courage, action above the call of duty and honor from so many of the men and women who serve not only with the 4th Fighter Wing, but with another member of Team Seymour, the 916th Air Refueling Wing, that we have lost count.

And each time we hear one, we remember again how proud we are of the men and women who have served — and will serve — along with you. The 4th Fighter Wing is part of our family — as it is now a part of yours.

We encounter your airmen and their families in our community, too. They serve alongside us as we try to make Wayne County a better place to live. Without their efforts, that would be a much more difficult task. They have adopted us as their hometown — and we are proud to name them among our citizenry.

And while we are happy to welcome you, we are sad to see one of our friends go. You do have some big shoes to fill. Col. Mike Holmes was a leader on and off base. He and his family will be missed. We will soon feel the same way about you and your family.

So, welcome back to Wayne County. We are looking forward to meeting you. Please consider this home.

Published in Editorials on September 7, 2006 11:30 AM