As the world watches the events unfolding daily in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, there are undoubtedly countless eyes at Minot Air Force Base focused on what’s happening more than 5,000 miles away.
It’s a horrific reminder that the men and women who call Minot Air Force Base home are impacted by events taking place far from Minot, N.D. It’s also a reminder that Minot AFB continues to play a critical and crucial role in the United States’ defense plan both at home and around the world.
The Air Force personnel stationed at Minot AFB have repeatedly proven that they are ready to respond to global threats whenever and wherever necessary. The B-52 bombers are not only an impressive sight in the skies above Minot, they are also recognized world-wide as an sign of the United States’ military strength. Ditto for the intercontinental ballistic missiles spread across this region that are controlled through Minot AFB. Certainly, we hope it’s never necessary to use those missiles in a time of conflict. Their value lies in their steadfast effectiveness as a deterrent.
The mission of Minot AFB is a global one, a mission that includes playing a key role in the United States’ overall goal of maintaining a strong military as a deterrent. In our community, we, too, have a mission in relation to the military members and their families who call Minot home.
We must remind ourselves that every time the B-52s and personnel leave Minot to strengthen the United States’ defense system somewhere else in the world, there are spouses and family members who remain here as part of our community. As community members, we have a responsibility to support those family members who continue to work, attend school, and take part in everyday events here while a loved one is deployed to a distant and potentially dangerous location.
Minot has always taken pride in welcoming and supporting Air Force personnel while they are here. Many personnel stationed in Minot establish lifelong relationships during their time here, with some choosing to live and work here after their military careers have ended. Some choose to retire here.
That’s because this community embraces our neighbors to the north. They become our friends and in many cases, members of our extended families. In stressful times like we are currently experiencing, there are ways we can remind them of our support.
The Minot Area Chamber EDC’s Adopt an Airman program is a community outreach partnership that makes a direct impact on those serving our country while being deployed at Minot AFB. Local families are paired with a newly stationed service member to help integrate them into the community and help them discover all that there is to do throughout our region. It’s a great way to help connect them to our community. I would encourage residents to sign up as more families are needed to be paired with eager service members. You can find more information about the Adopt an Airman program at the MACEDC’s website at minotchamberedc.com or by calling the MACEDC at 852-6000.
There is also a less formal, but equally important, way of supporting our friends in the military. We all see Air Force personnel in our community, whether it’s shopping or dining at local establishments, volunteering for numerous area organizations, or simply supporting their family members at a sporting event, band concert, or other school activity.
Tell them “thank you for your service.” It only takes a few seconds, but that simple act of courtesy lets them know we continue to support them, especially in this most difficult time. Our community has always been proud to be home to Minot Air Force Base. Let’s make sure the men and women of Minot Air Force Base know we’re proud of them, too.
To all the men and women of Minot Air Force Base, past, present and future, thank you for your service.
Sincerely, City Hall
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