The Southeast Sunbelt Commemorates Memorial Day
May 22, 2013
The Southeast Sunbelt Region held a Memorial Day Ceremony to honor those who have bravely served our country. "Freedom is Not Free" was the theme of the program with special guest speaker, Captain Robert "Punchy" Powell, a 92-year-old Fighter Pilot who flew in WWII and Korea.
Capt. Powell told some incredible stories about his experiences as a Fighter Pilot. He became an Aviation Cadet following Pearl Harbor. After basic military and flight training, Capt. Powell had flown PT-13s at Oxnard, BT-13s at Gardner Field, AT-6s at Luke Field where he got his wings with Class 43-A, and P-47 Thunderbolts at Cross City, FL.
As part of the 352nd Fighter Group at Bodney, he flew some 83 combat missions in Thunderbolts and Mustangs, where he ran up an unofficial score of six destroyed, two probables, and seven damaged, including destruction of the first German Luftwaffe HE-177 long range bomber. His awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with three O.L.C.s, and the Presidential Unit Citation as a member of the 352nd Fighter Group.
The ceremony recognized GSA employees that have served in the military and had a moment of silence for fallen soldiers. GSA employees Carrie Smith (U.S. Army) and Gene E. Morrison, Jr. (U.S. Coast Guard) commemorated those we have lost with a Missing Man Table, Fallen Soldier Tribute, and a poem about those we have lost.
David G. Hofstetter (U.S. Army), Director of the Client Solutions Division, and his team of GSA personnel helped plan this meaningful event. GSA is proud to commemorate those who have served our country. We will always remember that freedom is not free.
Visit photo gallery to see pictures from this event.