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Team Patrick-Cape tributes POW/MIA and U.S. Air Force

Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander, Airman 1St Class Katie Skrzypczak, 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, youngest Airman, and Lt. Col. Leonid Katkovsky, 45th Aerospace Medical Squadron, oldest Airman, in keeping with the tradition of cutting the Air Force Birthday cake during a celebration at the Patrick Air Force Base Golf Course and Marina, Sept. 18, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens/Released)

Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander, Airman 1St Class Katie Skrzypczak, 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, youngest Airman, and Lt. Col. Leonid Katkovsky, 45th Aerospace Medical Squadron, oldest Airman, in keeping with the tradition of cutting the Air Force Birthday cake during a celebration at the Patrick Air Force Base Golf Course and Marina, Sept. 18, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens/Released)

The President has declared the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day to honor and recognize the sacrifices of America's POWs and MIAs, both those returned and those still missing.  There are currently 83,115 Americans who remain missing from past conflicts; I want to remind you that we stand by our commitment to bring all missing Americans home. (U.S. Air Force graphic/James Rainier)

The President has declared the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day to honor and recognize the sacrifices of America's POWs and MIAs, both those returned and those still missing. There are currently 83,115 Americans who remain missing from past conflicts; I want to remind you that we stand by our commitment to bring all missing Americans home. (U.S. Air Force graphic/James Rainier)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Today is a day of remembrance and celebration as we pay tribute to two important events that define our heritage--Prisoner Of War/Missing-In-Action Recognition Day and the Air Force Birthday.

The President has declared the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day to honor and recognize the sacrifices of America's POWs and MIAs, both those returned and those still missing.  There are currently 83,115 Americans who remain missing from past conflicts; I want to remind you that we stand by our commitment to bring all missing Americans home. 

I personally fly the POW/MIA flag in front of my home as this Nation awaits the return of her missing service members.  Around the Nation, as people raise this flag in communities across America, which we fly on our base every day, we pledge to live by its creed: 'You are not forgotten.'

On this day we also celebrate the 68th year as the worlds' greatest Air Force.  It was clear during World War II that a separate branch was needed to maintain military supremacy in the highest frontier - and so our Air Force was born, Sept. 18, 1947. 

Since that time the 45th Space Wing has carried on this legacy of valor and ensured control of battlefield. From launching the first American to the latest GPS satellite into space, this Wing has been integral to the success of many DOD satellites in orbit today. Satellites that enable our members downrange to effectively communicate, navigate and defend freedom worldwide.  We do this because Team Patrick-Cape is truly made of the Air Force's best, and I can't wait to see the achievements we make in the coming years.

Saddle up Sharks and Happy Birthday, Air Force!