Air Force Honor Guard Attends National Cherry Festival - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Air Force Honor Guard Attends National Cherry Festival

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Their mission is to fly, fight and win, but visitors at the National Cherry Festival got to see another side of the U.S. Air Force this week.

The prestigious Air Force Honor Guard did everything from volunteer at events to show off their skills at the parades.

It's much different than what they do at home, but they say it's was a perfect public relations event for them.

9&10's Michelle Dunaway and Corey Adkins explain their mission this week.

"Our mission is to show the Air Force to the public and to the world. To show our core values and everything we do. Integrity, first service before self, and excellence in all we do."

This is the Air Force Honor Guard. A very prestigious group seen all around the National Cherry Festival this week.

"We did a bunch of drill competitions here shows here at the Cherry Festival grounds. We were also working with Air Force recruiters, not to recruit people, but just to show them one of the assets that the Air Force has and that is just people skills."

Senior Airman Jeremiah Wilkins is one of them who also spent the week volunteering in many different ways.

"A lot of people see Air Force members so it gets our face out there. A friendly way let's them know we're real people too. We still volunteer. But it also gives us an opportunity to talk to them ask questions about whatever they have and it's nice to be able to help with a nice festival like this."

And let's not forget about the parades. This is Honor Guard's third stop this year.

"We went to New York for the Veterans Day Parade, Chicago for the St. Patrick's Day Parade, now here. We did the Macy's Day Parade a few years ago. We do all the really big events where people want to see excellence when they want to see what the Air Force can do. When they want to see the shiny pennies."

But their typical day job is a lot more solemn.

"Our primary mission is Arlington National Cemetery. We put our fallen heroes to final resting place in Arlington."

"What makes it special is jut the look on the family's face just knowing that you've paid that solemn duty to the family and we are all hand picked for this duty based on our performance and based on our merit. And it's the best job I've ever had in the Air Force. I've been in the Air Force 16 years."

Master Sergeant Fish says the reception here has been great. "People have been super appreciative. I can't walk 10 feet without a 'thank you for your service.'"

And that's just the cherry on top of the sundae for this group that is honored and proud to serve their country.

"It's just amazing we are part of the heritage and history of the U.S. Air Force and we get to show a lot of that and we get to uphold the customs and the courtesies and traditions of our service and it's just the ultimate honor and any one of us would say the same thing."

The Honor Guard will make their last appearance at the National Cherry Festival at the front of the Cherry Royale Parade Saturday morning.

Sergeant Fish says they have a few tricks up their sleeve.

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