Throughout its 70-year history, the command has seen many Airmen pay the ultimate sacrifice.
“We gather to read their names and honor their sacrifices to our service and country,” said Ted Colquhoun, president, Freedom Through Vigilance Association. “This year, in honor of all our Silent Warriors, the city of San Antonio has issued a proclamation for Twenty-Fifth Air Force.”
In the prestigious document, the mayor proclaims Sept. 28, 2018, to be Twenty-Fifth Air Force Remembrance Ceremony Day.
During the ceremony, a bagpiper played "Amazing Grace" and the names of the fallen were read.
“You will hear many names read today as we honor our fallen eagles, but I wanted to highlight two individuals who passed more recently that we wished we had for one more day.”
Colquhoun recalled Staff Sgt. Eddison Alexander Hermond, a cryptologic professional beloved by many in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance community.
“He was a kind individual with a quick wit,” Colquhoun said. “He would give you the shirt off his back and then ask you how many more you needed. He quickly became the rock people could rely on, wherever he was.”
Ten years into Hermond’s Air Force career, he decided to transfer to the Army National Guard in Maryland.
“Much as he did when he was an Airman, Eddie took special pride in his job working search and rescue mission,” Colquhoun said. “He never wavered from his mission, and rose to the occasion despite deadly circumstances. Eddie lived as a hero and died as a hero May 27, 2018. His attempts to save a complete stranger during the Ellicott City flooding that day places him in rare and elite company; those who have died so that others may live.”
Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Lee Crawford was a cyber professional who knew he was meant to serve, Colquhoun continued.
“A consummate professional, he knew what it meant to serve,” he said. “Senior Master Sgt. Crawford also believed the mentorship he provided to many of his fellow Airmen was one of the most important services he could accomplish. He gave quiet counsel and career guidance to many men and women within Twenty-Fifth Air Force and leaves a hole that many of us are trying to fill today.”
These are just two in a long line of Silent Warriors lost over the past 70 years, Colquhoun said in preparation for the reading of the names of all warriors lost in the previous 12 months.
In remembering the fallen, today’s Airmen recognized the sacrifices of those who came before.
“Each year, we meet here to commemorate our fallen ‘Silent Warriors’ … men and women who’ve served our nation with distinction,” said Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brien, commander, Twenty-Fifth Air Force. “Their actions set the stage for our present-day Airmen; we owe them a great deal of gratitude.”
This year’s remembrance ceremony and anniversary week activities marked a unique milestone in Twenty-Fifth Air Force’s history, “70 Years in the Fight.”
“In 1948, the United States Air Force Security Service was established and with it, a tradition of excellence and vigilance through the ‘silent’ service of ISR Airmen. And for the past 70 years, Silent Warriors continued to serve in the air, at sea, on land and in the information and cyber domains,” O’Brien said. “They served in every type of conflict… quietly… discreetly, and with unparalleled dedication, determination, and above all, devotion to duty.
“One unfortunate reality of our calling are the risks to life and livelihood that come with it,” she said. “And many Silent Warriors have paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. These silent warriors are remembered across our enterprise. Their names adorn buildings and streets, from Hall Boulevard to Brandenburg and Schulte Halls, and many others; the legacy of these Airmen lives on.”