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Air Force Leadership Salutes America's Veterans: Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, and CMSAF James Roy thanked America's more than 22 million military veterans, including some four million who have donned Air Force blue, in their 2012 Veterans' Day message. "The men and women of our Armed Forces fought for—and some gave their lives to secure—the freedoms we enjoy today," they write in their Nov. 9 joint statement. For their sacrifice, "our nation owes a debt of appreciation that can never be repaid," they write. Veterans' families also deserve the nation's collective thanks since "their support makes the service of their loved ones possible," they write. Today's airmen, "standing on the shoulders of veterans past," continue "to discover and employ innovative airpower solutions for America," they write. "Every day, you answer the nation's call, whether in the skies or combat theaters abroad, in space or cyberspace, on the ground delivering relief and hope to families in need, or here at home protecting America's airspace," they write.