Va. Army and Air Guard chaplains support inauguration troops

WASHINGTON, D. C. — Virginia Army and Air National Guard chaplain teams provided support to troops during the 58th Presidential Inauguration January 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The teams were assigned to a task force that included service members from all over the U. S. and U.S. territories, including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

“The most important role we had for the Presidential Inauguration was the support and presence to the troops that supported the event,” said Air Force Maj. Corwin L. Smith, a chaplain in charge of a religious support team assigned to the Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd Fighter Wing stationed at Joint Base Langley Eustis. “They had to endure being away from their families, coming from various locations and missing the comforts of home.”

The chaplain teams visited Soldiers and Airmen posted at various traffic control points near the inaugural parade route where they were assisting hundreds of people in getting to access through security check points.

“I was very impressed by our Guardsmen,” said Army Capt. Will Cochrane, a chaplain leading a unit ministry team assigned to Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, Virginia Army National Guard. “Their professionalism and respect during the operation, regardless of personal beliefs or political opinion was noted by my team and civilians thankful for their service.”

More than 7,500 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from across the country assisted with the inauguration support effort.

“The excellence of our fine men and women in uniform is what makes our military the best in the world and ensures the safety and free rights of all Americans,” said Smith.