Adjutant General’s 2014 Veterans Day Message

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams

SANDSTON, Va. — On Veterans Day we celebrate the incredible commitment and sacrifice of all the members of the Armed Forces, both retired and currently serving, for their role in defending the ideals of freedom in peacetime and at war, here at home and all over the world.

We all know how dramatically life changed for us after the terrorists attacks of 9/11, and the National Guard has successfully made the transition for a strategic reserve to an operational force. In the last 13 years, the Virginia National Guard has mobilized more than 15,000 Soldiers and Airmen for homeland defense, peacekeeping and combat operations at locations across the globe including Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo. We have also made significant improvements in our ability to respond to emergency situations here at home and have forged meaningful partnerships with key state agencies to make sure we are there when the citizens of the Commonwealth need us.

The courage and commitment of the men and women who served before us in conflicts such as World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and other military operations both hot and cold showed all of us the true meaning of selfless service. These great Veterans defended the freedom of people they didn’t know in lands far away from home because they knew how important it was to the democratic lifestyle we all enjoy. We owe them a special debt of gratitude for the shining example they set.

We are without a doubt the best-trained, most professionally-led and effective fighting and response force our country has ever seen from its National Guard. The challenge we face now is to maintain these unprecedented levels of readiness in the face of a constrained resource environment. It will take a renewed commitment from all of us to make that a reality, but I am confident that we are all up to the challenge.

While we salute our Veterans who wear the cloth of our country, we should also take time to recognize the critical importance of our families, communities and employers to our mission. Without their support, none of us in uniform would be able to do what we do, and we need to thank them all for their important contribution they make.

I am incredibly proud of all the men and women of the Virginia National Guard, and there are no words to truly express the appreciation I feel for your service to commonwealth and country. It is an honor and privilege to serve with you.

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams
The Adjutant General of Virginia