Governor to designate December as Virginia Guard Month

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Bob McDonnell is scheduled to ceremonially sign a proclamation designating December as Virginia National Guard Appreciation and Recognition Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia Dec. 6, 2013, at a ceremony in Richmond, Va.

Virginia National Guard Month

WHEREAS, as the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States, the Virginia National Guard traces the traditions of selfless service to the founding of the Jamestown Colony in 1607; and

seal_vaWHEREAS, since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, more than 15,000 Virginia Soldiers and Airmen have served on active duty in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, helping to maintain security in the United States and further the cause of freedom around the world; and

WHEREAS, approximately 150 Soldiers from the Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company began serving on federal active duty on April 1, 2013, to conduct transportation support operations at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan; and WHERAS, the 192nd Fighter Wing supported two overseas F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft deployments providing critical air dominance capabilities to combatant commands in key areas of the world and mobilized 38 Airmen in support of global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations; and

WHEREAS, additional Soldiers and Airmen conducted individual federal mobilizations supporting global operations; and

WHEREAS, since 2001, more than 7,300 Virginia Guard personnel have responded to fires, floods, hurricanes, snow storms and other natural disasters assisting citizens of the Commonwealth as well as other states in their time of need; and

WHEREAS, more than 600 Virginia Guard Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force supported the 57th Presidential Inauguration on January 21, 2013, in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia, and more than 160 Virginia Guard personnel mobilized on state active duty March 6, 2013, in direct support to the Virginia State Police and other state and local emergency response agencies conducting operations after heavy snow blanketed the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the 229th Military Police Company received the Pershing Trophy from National Guard Association of the United States as the National Guard unit with the top marksmanship skills in the country; and

WHEREAS, the 1032nd Transportation Company won the Department of the Army Philip A. Connelly Award For Excellence In Army Food Service; and

WHEREAS, the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion received the Reckord Trophy for the highest state of readiness in the country from the National Guard Association of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment received the Kerwin Readiness Award as the most combat-ready Army National Guard battalion in the country from the Association of the United States Army; and

WHEREAS, the Funeral Honors Program performed its 12,000th military funeral on October 30, 2013; and

WHEREAS, on July 31, 2013 the State Partnership Program celebrated 10 years of working with the armed forces of the Republic of Tajikistan to the benefit of both forces; and

WHEREAS, Virginia Army and Air Guard engineers from the 276th Engineer Battalion and 203rd Red Horse Squadron supported the City of Petersburg by removing derelict structures associated with the drug trade; and

WHEREAS, the all-volunteer Virginia Defense Force continues to be integrated into every major operation conducted by the Virginia Guard and embodies the spirit of selfless service; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Guard could not perform its mission without the support of its civilian workforce, families, employers and community; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard is recognized as one of the best in the nation in many critical areas and provides a relevant and rapidly responding force that deploys as directed by the Governor to assist state and local authorities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert F. McDonnell, do hereby recognize December 2013 as VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.