Since its founding, the United States has proudly stood as the “shining beacon on the hill.” Our countrymen’s steadfast loyalty to building a more perfect union is a concept that millions of Americans have embraced, with many going so far as knowingly putting their lives on the line so future generations can know the blessings of liberty. There is perhaps no greater group of Americans that have taken the stand to defend our nation than the Tuskegee Airmen. This elite group of warriors bravely took to the skies to defend their nation against fascism and tyranny facing a daunting Nazi enemy during World War II.
This group, comprised of around 900 combined fighter and bomber pilots, amassed over 1,500 missions, 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 60 Purple Hearts, and hundreds of other individual merits and awards. More impressive yet, they accomplished this during a period when their country did not award them the respect or dignity they deserved as American patriots. Despite facing unjust prejudices in their hometown communities and within the ranks of their military training facilities, these heroic men kept their heads held high and answered the call to arms when America needed them most.
As Land Commissioner and Chairman of the Veterans Land Board, I was honored to announce — with unanimous consent among the board — that our 10th state Veterans home would be named in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen. Texas is the proud home to dozens of these heroes, and Fort Worth is specifically known to be the hometown to at least five. Our Veterans homes across the state are all named after Texas Veterans who made significant sacrifices, and no other group could be more fitting for such an honor than the Tuskegee Airmen.
The official naming process is a considerable task as a consensus must be established among multiple levels of local and state government. Due to the incomparable sacrifices made by the Tuskegee Airmen and their tightknit bond to the Fort Worth area, this time however, the process was neither contentious nor controversial.
As a Navy Reserve Veteran and grandson to a WWII aviator, I have a profound respect for these men who inspired future generations of military and civil rights leaders alike. While there is no repayment that could ever fully satisfy our appreciation for the Tuskegee Airmen’s contributions, this home will enshrine their legacy for every Veteran who comes to call this building home.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the community’s broad support of not only being chosen as the new site of the Veterans home, but also in the decision to name it after this prestigious group of military aviators. A huge thank you is due to the Commissioners Court, the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Worth City Council, the Mayor’s office, and countless others who helped make this possible. Their tireless support of this initiative is a testament to the pride that Tarrant County has for the Tuskegee Airmen.
I was humbled to have led the groundbreaking ceremony, and to be joined by community leaders, Veterans, and family members of the Tuskegee Airmen. I look forward to joining them all soon again for the grand opening of this home. My team and I are excited to expand our services to Veterans of north Texas and honored to play a role in permanently enshrining the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen through our newest Fort Worth Veterans home.
You can find more information about Texas’ newest state Veterans home here.
God bless Texas.
VLB Chairman George P. Bush