OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. - Members of U.S. Strategic Command, formermembers of disestablished Strategic Air Command and their familiesmemorialized SAC warriors during the SAC Memorial Sunday Service here.
"We come to remember those servicemembers who offered their bodies, heartsand energies to fight for a better world," said Chaplain (Maj. ) JerrySather, 55th Wing Senior Protestant Chaplain, Offutt Air Force Base.
The annual SAC Memorial Sunday Service began in 1958 by SACCommander-in-Chief Gen. Thomas S. Power and Command Chaplain Col. George S. Wilson. The program was initiated to pay tribute to SAC combat crewpersonnel who were killed while flying missions.
"We knew there was a job to be done . and the depths with which it wouldtake us to fulfill our mission's success," said Chief Master Sgt. (Ret. )Alfred Buckles, a guest speaker at the service.
Buckles reported to SAC in 1959 and spent 31 years of his military career atthe command. He gave a vivid and emotional recollection of his enlistedperspective on SAC and expounded on the power the command displayed. Therecognition of the role of enlisted forces was evident at SAC and continuestoday with USSTRATCOM's "Year of the Enlisted Global Warfighter".
"During that time, I was part of and experienced an unbelievable growth ofthe nation's military power that ensured our adversaries . would not see aday that they thought they could dare attack us," said Buckles.
Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, USSTRATCOM commander and Lt. Gen. (Ret. ) Leo Smithalso spoke during the service to pay homage to the SAC warriors.
"Though I cannot say I have had the pleasure of serving with SAC in my AirForce career, I have had the privilege of serving in several of SAC'slineage forces," said Chilton.
Chilton, a former astronaut with 33 years of service served with the 9thReconnaissance Wing and the 8th Air Force. Chilton also flew B-52s and U-2s,both airframes a staple of the Cold War.
"We look back with great pride to Strategic Air Command, to the history ofthat command and to the example set by that command. And, it inspires us atU.S. Strategic Command to continue to carry the torch of deterrence today. "We have not forgotten the lessons we have learned and continue to learnfrom the history books and those who aren't with us today who served atSAC," emphasized Chilton "It reminds us of what is required to preservefreedom for the United Stated of America. "
As part of the SAC Memorial, a stained glass window was designed and iscurrently installed in the SAC Memorial Chapel. Also, along the west wall ofthe chapel are window murals representing the command's 72 divisions, wingsand groups.
For more information about USSTRATCOM history, go to