Posted: Oct 14, 2012 8:48 AM by Beth Beechie - MTN News
MONARCH- Hundreds of people showed up in Monarch on Saturday to mark the 50th anniversary of Minuteman ICBM missiles.
Those missiles were put into order by President John Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was later resolved.
But those in charge of the intercontinental ballistic missile force are still grateful for the work of those before them.
Among the participants was Major General Michael Carey, who serves as the commander of the 20th Air Force, part of Air Force Global Strike Command.
"It's humbling and honoring to not only be the commander of this force, but to be surrounded by the men and women who work the pioneers of this force," Maj Gen Carey noted.
And among those men and women is a gentleman by the name of Albert Matzat.
"I was a missile facilities technician on combat crew R-10 in Plasford, New York during the Cuban Crisis," he said with a proud smile.
He spent his nine-year missile career moving all over the country working on those different missiles and completed 22 years of active service before his retirement. It's the work of Matzat and thousands of others over those last 50-plus years that brought hundreds of thankful men and women to the celebration.
"We're here today at a moment of peace to commemorate a great event at a difficult time in our country," Great Falls City Commissioner Bill Bronson said.
"And that peace did come about because of those men and women. And it's still maintained today by those men and women," Mayor Michael Winters added.
It's the men and women serving today that brought tears to Matzat's eyes when they were able to meet face to face.
"Especially when someone comes and taps you on the shoulder and says, 'you are the one, the foundation, for young airmen of today that are standing on your shoulders,'" Matzat said, trying to hold back his emotions amounting from years of hard work.