WASHINGTON — The Air Force wants to say thank you to the parents of airmen. And danke. And grazie. And domo arigato.

On Friday in Washington, the director of the Your Guardians of Freedom program office at the Pentagon, Brig. Gen. Edward Tonini, introduced “E pluribus unum,” an expansion of the Parent Pin program.

The new program makes it possible for parents who don’t speak English to receive the pins with a letter from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper and Secretary James Roche in their native language.

In a brief ceremony, the parents of three airmen were given the pins and letters, two in Spanish and one in Tagalog, the primary language of the Philippines.

Letters are available in 100 languages.

In May, the service rolled the Parent Pin program, designed to say thank you to parents for being the support network for their fighting force.

“It’s not just the kids who go out there” and become airmen, Jumper said when the program was introduced. “It’s also the parents, who brought these kids to us.”

A Pentagon officer who got the pin for his father in Colombia commented that it would be “so much more meaningful” for his dad to have a document in his native tongue.

Tonini says the number of requests they’ve gotten shows how important so simple a gesture can be for families.

“Parents want to brag about their kids. Ultimately, airmen vote with their feet. If we take care of the parents and families, then we can keep those highly-trained individuals.”

— Airmen can learn more about the program and order pins and letters by going to:

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