Our objective in launching the “Armed Forces Thanksgiving” was to raise awareness and dialogue on the contributions our military personnel have made and continue to make on behalf of our country.
The AFT mission is to provide a community salute to our military, past, present and future, while providing an invaluable educational opportunity for high school students. We seek to provide a vehicle for our community, from teens to adults, to understand, honor, and express thanks for the service of each person who has served or is serving in the Armed Forces and to encourage those who will serve in the future. We hope ‘Our Salute’ will encourage the next generation to have a sincere appreciation for all the men and women who have served, on our behalf.
Communication and related activities don't stop after the event. High school students are tasked with creating a compelling project and hosting their own military recognition events to coincide with Veteran’s Day the following November.
Michael J Durant
This year’s VIRTUAL event will be highlighted with a keynote address from Retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Durant. His performance during active military duty and in retirement mark him as one of Aviation's best. He is most famous for his harrowing 1993 experience during Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia - as a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) deployed with Task Force Ranger - where he was shot down and held as a prisoner of war by hostile Somali militia for 11 days. Despite his multiple injuries, his performance during captivity - chronicled in news magazines, books, documentaries and a feature film, Black Hawk Down - is heralded as a model of the "Warrior Ethos" for all soldiers. His personal conduct serves as a benchmark for today's survival, evasion, resistance and escape training for all of members of U.S. military.