RiCHMOND, Va. — Governor Bob McDonnell recognized currently serving and past members of the United States Armed Forces for their service and thanked their families for their contributions during the the Commonwealth Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 11, 2013, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond. Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis A. Green, senior enlisted leader for the Virginia National Guard, presented a memorial wreath to recognize the contributions of Virginia Guard Soldiers and Airmen, Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard Funeral Honors Program served as the honor guard for the ceremony and members of the Virginia Defense Force provided traffic control and parking assistance. Veterans Day has been observed at the War Memorial annually since 1956.
“Your National Guard is all over the world including the 1710th Transportation Company on duty in Afghanistan today,” McDonnell said. “They have been vigilant in multiple deployments for the cause of freedom.”
About 150 Soldiers from the 1710th are currently on federal active duty and stationed at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan where they are conducting transportation support operations. They mobilized for federal active April 1, 2013, and are scheduled to serve on federal active duty for 12 months.
“Virginians have always been at the forefront of the fight from freedom and democracy,” McDonnell said. “It is vitally important that we never, ever forget the sacrifices that so many of you here have made.”
McDonnell said that he believed the U.S. military has been the greatest cause for freedom and democracy the world has ever known, and pointed out that military personnel are deployed to dozens of countries where they are doing incredibly dangerous and tough work in order to secure freedom and opportunity for people we don’t even know.
“We care so much about this idea of freedom, and have for more than 237 years, that we are willing to give our sons and daughters for that cause.”
Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 15,000 Virginia Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized on federal active duty for combat operations, peacekeeping, and homeland security missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, and other locations around the world.
“In more than four decades of military service, I have never seen a more professional, motivated, dedicated, and battle-tested group of National Guardsmen and Women than we have in the Commonwealth of Virginia today,” Long said in his Veterans Day message. “These past 13 years have truly been their ‘finest hour’— one that our state and our nation will not soon forget.”
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Adjutant General’s 2013 Veterans Day Message