July 13, King of Prussia PA: At the bequest of the American Legion Pennsylvania HQ and Operation Tribute to Freedom (Washington D.C.) Sgt 1st. Class John Loomis, stationed with the Lehigh Valley recruiting company, became the keynote speaker at the recent Department of PA American Legion Convention.
Loomis was invited to speak to the more than 500 veterans about his recruiting experiences and his recent tour of duty in Iraq.
Loomis delivered his message to the receptive crowd and explained how important support for the troops is and how important the veterans are as positive influencers when a young man or woman decides to enlist. “Your support of that young person could make all the difference,” Loomis said during his talk.
Escorted to and from the podium Loomis was slightly overwhelmed by the thank you’s and support that poured from the audience, stopping every other step to receive a handshake. Loomis went on to say “I am thankful for your service to our country. Your sacrifices have enabled me and inspired me to serve. Looking out at all of you I have a prepared speech, but I realize that I must speak to you from my heart.”
Sgt. 1st. Class John Loomis went on to receive a standing ovation.
Loomis offered his services through the battalion’s speaker bureau, managed through the public affairs shop, and Operation Tribute to Freedom. Operation Tribute to Freedom is a Department of the Army Community Relations program that works in conjunction with Army Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) across the country to honor Soldiers who have returned from supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The program identifies media opportunities and events for returning Soldiers to share their experiences with their local communities in an effort to ensure the public maintains a direct connection to today’s Army. More information about OTF can be found at http://www.army.mil/otf/.