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June/July 2010 - Georgia Lord, Vice Mayor
I recently visited Washington, D.C. as a delegate with Greater Phoenix Economic Council, along with our governor, mayors from Valley cities, officials, and business leaders. We met with top military officials to promote Luke Air Force Base and Arizona's bid for the F-35. In addition to the unparalleled weapons training on the 2.7-million-acre Barry M. Goldwater Range, safe practice zones for pilots, and great flying weather, much discussion centered on the warm relationship with the surrounding civilian community "outside the fence." As the wife of a now-retired Air Force officer, I understand how important that is, and I was honored to learn of the military community's gratitude for the support of our neighbors here in the West Valley.
The "Quilts of Valor" project is one of the most poignant examples of the warm relationships that have developed between those stationed at Luke and those of us "outside the fence." Members of the Estrella Mountain Quilters, a chapter of the Arizona Quilters Guild, recently presented more than a dozen hand-sewn quilts to the Wounded Warriors of Luke Air Force Base. The quilters, who meet several times a week in a craft room at PebbleCreek, created a collection of quilts with patriotic designs. After a member read about my experience in Washington, the group decided to present each of Luke's Wounded Warriors with one of these quilts - perhaps one of the warmest possible expressions of appreciation.
Soon, the location for the F-35 will be announced. In the meantime, I hope we will do all we can as civilians "outside the fence" to continue cultivating our warm relationships with the military families of Luke AFB.