Support for troops topic highlights Armed Forces Day luncheon

From left to right, Army Staff Sgt. Tanya Boudreaux, Navy Construction Apprentice Felton Randal, Marine Sgt. Christopher Goebel and retired Chief Master Sgt. Rainer Hanold honor prisoners of war and those missing in action during an Armed Forces Day ceremony at the officers club. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jacque Lickteig).

From left to right, Army Staff Sgt. Tanya Boudreaux, Navy Construction Apprentice Felton Randal, Marine Sgt. Christopher Goebel and retired Chief Master Sgt. Rainer Hanold honor prisoners of war and those missing in action during an Armed Forces Day ceremony at the officers club. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jacque Lickteig).

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- In the 60s, America's armed forces took part in an expensive, unpopular war. 

Today, America's armed forces are involved in another expensive, unpopular war. 

The difference is the American public's support for the men and women in uniform. During the Vietnam War, American troops returned from battle to demonstrations, hostility and displaced aggression. Today, it isn't uncommon to see car magnets with the words "Support Our Troops." 

Even further, this year's theme for the Armed Forces Day is "America Supports You."
Retired Maj. Gen. Donald Rigg attributed the change in society to a deeper understanding and knowledge of the U.S. Armed Forces and their purpose during a luncheon to celebrate Armed Forces Day and honor servicemembers Monday at the officers. 

"Today's public knows and understands the military much better," the guest speaker said. "All that comes about because of the great job we are doing communicating our purpose." 

After explaining the history of Armed Forces Day and expressing his personal appreciation for servicemembers, General Rigg listed 12 ways to show support. 

1. Fly the flag
2. Send a message of thanks
3. Send a care package
4. Organize an event in the community
5. Ask elected officials to recognize the military more frequently
6. Wear a shirt or wristband that says "Support Our Troops"
7. Ask schools and libraries to participate in recognizing military members
8. Ask local media to recognize the military
9. Raise funds for military charities
10. Hire a veteran
11. Multipy your support
12. Approach a military member, shake his/her hand and say thank you 

General Rigg said his personal favorite is the last one. 

During his speech, he recommended military members learn the capabilities of their sister services to know what they can bring to the fight and inspire cohesiveness.
"We're all part of the same team," he said. 

To represent that team, a four-member honor guard detail that had one member from each branch posted the colors and performed the POW/MIA table ceremony during the luncheon.