Wetzel County Commission Honors Retired Air Force Veteran Lemon
The Wetzel County Commission honored retired Air Force veteran, Michael Lemon, at the commission’s meeting on Nov. 7.
Lemon enlisted in the Air Force in 1987 at just 17 years old and was in active duty for seven years. During that time, he was stationed at Albrook Air Force Station during the invasion of Panama during Operation Just Cause.
Lemon signed up for the West Virginia National Guard when he completed his active duty, continuing his service for a total of 26 years. He stated he had been a commander in the 167th Airlift Wing Security Forces squadron in Martinsburg W.Va. and was captain when he retired.
Lemon explained “I did a total of 33 months deployed in contingency zones, which is a good bit of time the majority of my time was in special operations and counter terrorism, and I was deployed to right around 29 different countries, which was one of the highlights of my military career. Being a commander was something that was very special to me because you’re the face of your unit. My unit had about 120 guys in it and we did the mission of military police and we also had a special operations counter terrorism unit that I was involved in and got to do a lot of cool things. I got to go to a lot of different places, meet a lot of great people and it was truly an honor of mine to serve in that capacity.”
Lemon continued, “I left after 26 years as the commander of my unit. I am still close to all the guys there, still in touch with them, but it came to the point in me where it was time for someone else to do it for a while. Balancing your requirements as a guardsman and your everyday job and life is increasingly tough because it’s not the guard of the 70’s or 80’s anymore the guard and reserves are now used as an operational unit and more than a stop gap.”
Lemon went on to note that he was a Raven; they were responsible for securing landing zones in areas that were considered hazardous to the aircraft. Because the number of airfields deemed hazardous after 9/11 grew exponentially, his squadron remained busy. He was activated on September 11, 2011 and was gone for about a year and a half. Lemon mentioned that he had also staged missions in Afghanistan and did a tour in Iraq as well.
Now retired, Lemon has been with the State Police for 19 years and is currently a sergeant that works with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation focusing on narcotics and is assigned to the Marshal County Drug Task Force.
Commission President Larry Lemon, praised Michael Lemon, “Well, we certainly appreciate your service and all that you’ve done, and I know that you scared your mother to death when you first got involved but she handled it well, and I know your parents are proud. We’re all proud. Thank you.”
The Wetzel County Commission presented Lemon with an Air Force banner to thank him for his service.