18th Air Force Commander Accepts NAACP Award for Scott

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, greets Christopher Newman, an orginal Tuskegee Airman, Oct. 21, 2012 during the East St. Louis NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet at the Millennium hotel in St. Louis, MO. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kimberly Spinner)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, greets Christopher Newman, an orginal Tuskegee Airman, Oct. 21, 2012 during the East St. Louis NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet at the Millennium hotel in St. Louis, MO. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kimberly Spinner)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, and his wife, Evelyn, visit with Frankie Muse Freeman, Esq., an NAACP member and civil rights pioneer, Oct. 21, 2012 during the East St. Louis NAACP military appreciation banquet at the Millennium hotel in St. Louis, Mo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kimberly Spinner)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, and his wife, Evelyn, visit with Frankie Muse Freeman, Esq., an NAACP member and civil rights pioneer, Oct. 21, 2012 during the East St. Louis NAACP military appreciation banquet at the Millennium hotel in St. Louis, Mo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kimberly Spinner)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, accepts an award honoring the service of military members here, Oct. 21, 2012 during the East St. Louis NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet at the Millennium hotel in St. Louis, Mo. From left to right, Michael McMillan, License Collector, City of St. Louis, Ill.; Rev. Johnny Scott, President, East St. Louis Branch of the NAACP; Richard Mark, Chairman, CEO and President, Ameren of Illinois; and Jeffrey K. Watson, General Manager, Casino Queen, East St. Louis, Ill.  
 (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kimberly Spinner)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, accepts an award honoring the service of military members here, Oct. 21, 2012 during the East St. Louis NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet at the Millennium hotel in St. Louis, Mo. From left to right, Michael McMillan, License Collector, City of St. Louis, Ill.; Rev. Johnny Scott, President, East St. Louis Branch of the NAACP; Richard Mark, Chairman, CEO and President, Ameren of Illinois; and Jeffrey K. Watson, General Manager, Casino Queen, East St. Louis, Ill. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kimberly Spinner)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Addressing an audience that included members of the Air Force's historic Tuskegee Airmen and the Montford Point Marines, the commander of the 18th Air Force accepted an award honoring the service of military members here during the East St. Louis NAACP's Freedom Fund banquet Oct. 21.

"I am humbled to be here alongside those who embody the historic excellence of our Tuskeegee Airmen and Montford Point Marines," Lt. Gen. Darren McDew told the hundreds of NAACP members, elected officials, community leaders, servicemembers and veterans gathered for the event, the third largest of its kind in the U.S. (only the Washington, D.C. and Detroit, Mich. events are larger). Members of each of the military services were recognized by the NAACP during the event, illustrating its theme of "Together We Rise...Joining Forces for the Future".

"The servicemembers and veterans recognized ... have sacrificed much to protect our nation and way of life. They are truly the fabric of our nation's flag," said McDew, after accepting the NAACP award. He also noted that the nation's success was a joint effort, requiring not only the sacrifices of servicemembers but the support of the American people.

"We will only be successful as a nation by working together," McDew said. "Our country is blessed with men and women, working individually or as part of organizations ... who seek a brighter future for all of us, our children and grandchildren. It is the partnerships of all of these amazing people that will ensure that the blessings of liberty continue to shine for generations of Americans not yet born."