Late western Massachusetts veteran honored at Barnes ANGB

Veterans Voices

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A special dedication was held to honor the life of a beloved local veteran, a few days shy of Veterans Day. 

A man who both served the Commonwealth and nation from the position of lowest airman to the rank as a general. That’s just one of many ways late Major General George Keefe of the 104th Fighter Wing is being remembered.  

A dedication in his honor brought together friends, family, fellow servicemen and women and distinguished members of the community to Barnes Air National Guard Base. There, they witnessed history, seeing the Logistics Readiness Complex that now bears his name, paying homage to his nearly 50 years of service and dedication. 

“He served all the way up through the ranks getting to two-star general,” said Colonel Peter, a 104th Fighter Wing commander. “The people here loved him, they loved him because he was the kind of leader that led from the front. he cared about his people and he cared about his mission and he always made you feel valued.” 

Major General Keefe passed away in June of 2018. A native of Northampton, he first enlisted into the Massachusetts Air National Guard in 1956 and was the first Air National Guardsman to serve as the adjutant general of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

His children took after him, sharing the same love for our country. His son shared one of his childhood memories. 

“We were kids, every Memorial Day he’d bring us out here and we’d look at the planes and he’d talk to us about the role the military plays,” said Garry Keefe, adjutant general at the Massachusetts National Guard. “This has always been a huge huge part of the Keefe family growing up.” 

Major General George Keefe also earned enshrinement at the U.S. Air Forces Enlisted Heritage Hall at Maxwell Air Force Base. 

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