Security Forces, all who have served in the Air/Security Police/Forces career field will be honored this fall when an eleven-foot statue is erected on the grounds of the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. The statue will culminate two years of work done by the Air Force Security Police Association (AFSPA) in an effort to memorialize not only those who have fallen in the line of duty, but also those who have persevered in the service of their country, many times putting themselves in harm's way. According to MSgt Michael Scott, National Memorial Chairman, the inscription on the plaque says it all: "We dedicate this to all Peacekeepers who have served in peace and war."

The Air/Security Police/Forces career field has evolved greatly since its birth with the formation of the Office of The Air Provost Marshal in 1942, Military Police assigned to Air Force units saw action in all major conflicts of World War II. Since the end of that conflict Air Police, Security Police, and today's Security Forces have continued to be the guardians, defenders and law enforcement authority of the United States Air Force. The men and women serve in a variety of roles, as policemen, combat air base defenders, dog handlers, and combat arms technicians. They serve in the active force, reserves and air guard units wherever Air Force personnel and equipment are stationed or deployed.

The demands of these roles in peace and war have exacted a high price for the protection these men and women have provided. Air Force Security Forces face the same criminal elements that are common to our society, TSgt Robert Butler, was shot in the face and killed during a traffic stop at Edwards Air Force Base in California--just the latest in a long line of security police who have given their lives in the line of duty. A retired security policeman, CMSgt. Chesnut, gave his life when a madman shot his way into the U. S. Capitol in 1998.

According to Colonel Jerry Bullock, USAF (Ret), the Executive Director of AFSPA, security police men and women have time and time again answered the call to arms in defense of this country and her principles. Whether defending against the relentless onslaught of the North Koreans, matching arms and wits in pitched battles with the Viet Cong at places like Tan San Nhut, Bien Hoa, Pleiku and Da Nang in Vietnam, or working excruciatingly long hours with little to no days off in Bosnia and the Southwest Asia theater, these sons, daughters, husbands, and wives have always been ready, willing and able to give of themselves to protect the people and assets of the U.S. Air Force.. Making this memorial happen is only a fair tribute to their efforts.

In 1994, a small bronze plaque was donated to the museum by AFSPA to honor these veterans. Shortly after that the Buckeye Chapter, composed largely of members residing in the Dayton and Central Ohio area, began to plan for a statue to complement the plaque. Many sizes and designs were considered. We knew we could not do justice to the men and women we sought to honor with a small statue. The final design, as seen in the artist's depiction, will present a life- size figure standing atop a four-foot pentagon shaped granite base. The granite will depict scenes in bas relief, showing the history of the Air/Security Police/Forces from their beginnings with the Provost Marshal and Military Police, through the Air Police years, and ending with the statue showing the current Security Forces member.

The dedication will be during the Association's national annual meeting in October 2000. According to Colonel Bullock, "The return of our association to Dayton is an exciting time for all of our members. The hard work of the Buckeye Chapter has set a standard for others to follow. The work the local men and women did in 1994 was outstanding! Dayton was an easy choice for the first annual meeting of the millennium."

"The Air Force Museum in Dayton was the natural place," says MSgt Scott. The memorial walk-way is open to the public year round for all those who want to see the sculpture on display. Luckily we were able to get one of the last few lots on the walkway in 1994. The lot is in the last row away from the museum, providing ample space to improve such as this sculpture. The museum also presents ease of access to the public and already boasts well over a million visitors a year.

MSgt Scott, a U.S. Air Force security policeman on active duty at Wright-Patterson AFB, relates the memorial will only become a true reality if they can finish raising the hefty $92,000 required to build the statue and place it at the museum. "Right now we are conducting a national effort to raise the funds," according to Colonel Bullock, "This is an ambitious task for an organization of only 2300 members. We are determined to meet our goal and give the Air Force Defender their proper recognition. You can help." You can get information about the memorial at 1-877-370-0583, e-mail memorial@aol.com, or by writing to:

Mike Scott, 3107 Stardust Drive, Beavercreek, Ohio 45432

Or call Mike at (937) 426-2516

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