Posted at: 12/02/2012 6:27 PM
Updated at: 12/03/2012 11:13 AM
By: Laurie Stribling
An awards ceremony at the DECC Sunday honored 148th Fighter Wing Airmen for their accomplishments. Earlier this year, the group received national recognition with two top honors for an outstanding unit. One award named the wing the overall, most outstanding Air National Guard unit, and the second recognized the Bulldogs for being the best unit with a fighter or aircraft.
"Those basically are saying we are the best Air National Guard flying unit in the whole United States," Major Audra Flanagan, Executive Officer for the wing, said. "It feels good. The 148th Fighter Wing has a tradition of excellence."
While the group was recognized as a whole, several airmen were recognized individually this year. Sergeant Scott Herrington received the Outstanding New Air National Guard Journalist award.
"It's a huge honor," Herrington said. "Being that it's national, I didn't think I had a shot."
Along with awards, 42 retiring airmen were honored for their more than 20 years of service. Retired Chief Master Sergeant David Daigle spent 28 years with the 148th Fighter Wing.
"(There are) mixed feelings," Daigle said. "(It's) exciting to move on to the next phase in life, and it's sad, a little bit, to look back and think of all the good times here."
An emotional part of the ceremony took place when more than 300 recently deployed Bulldogs flooded the stage. While these airmen were thankful to be honored, they said this recognition comes with responsibility.
"People always know who the 148th is," Base Contracting Officer Tana Johnson said. "We're at the top. It's a hard place to hold, but we are there. It's great."
A couple dozen airmen were also recognized for earning Associate Degrees from the Community College of the Air Force.