MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis native, Tennessee Air National Guardsman and firefighter manager, was honored for serving in the U.S. Air Force and as a state employee at the annual Veterans Day ceremony in Nashville.

Master Sgt. Keith Norman was one of the five state employees honored for his service by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday.

Norman served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years and deployed twice for operations Desert Storm and Southern Watch, according to a press release from the state.

Norman also served as a City of Memphis firefighter for 25 years before becoming a state employee.

“To be able to honor these veterans is always one of the highlights of my whole year,” said Gov. Lee. “They have sacrificed so much to be able to give back to their country and to the state of Tennessee, we can’t thank them enough for their selfless service to their communities.”

Commander Master Sgt. Joseph DiMauro, the fire protection senior enlisted leader for the 164th Airlift Wing, says that Norman “goes above and beyond” by assisting and mentoring 17 Tennessee firefighters. He also leads 25 traditional guardsmen assigned to the 164th Civil Engineer Squadron.

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According to Gen. Warner Ross, Norman has been recognized for his experience, professionalism, and dedication to service, which make him a valuable addition to the 164th team. He says, “his contributions have been felt at every level of the organization.”

“When you decide to put on that uniform and you take that oath, you don’t do it for recognition; you do it because you are called to serve,” said Norman. “But it does feel good to be recognized and to know that people have taken notice of my service.”