2015 Holiday message from Adjutant General, Senior Enlisted Advisor

NewVaGuardLogo_2mar15SANDSTON, Va. — Command Sgt. Maj. Ferris and I would like to wish everyone the best during the 2015 holiday season and encourage you to reflect on the past year and take inventory of the positive things in life we can all be thankful for. We are so fortunate in the Virginia National Guard to enjoy a team of Soldiers, Airmen, state and federal civilians and members of the Virginia Defense Force who are supported by a fantastic network of families, employers, state government officials, legislators and communities. We continue to effectively balance the demands of our state and federal mission, and we couldn’t do that without everyone working together towards a common goal.

We would like to extend a special thank you to all the Soldiers and Airmen in the Virginia National Guard currently serving far away from home this holiday season, along with all the other members of the Armed Force who are making great sacrifices to help protect the freedom we all enjoy. Please keep our men and women in uniform, as well as their families and loved ones, in your thoughts and prayers.

If your holiday plans involve time on the road, please be sure to get plenty of rest and have a plan that includes regular rest breaks before you start the drive. The Travel Risk Planning System at https://trips.safety.army.mil/ is a valuable tool to help mitigate risks associated with travel.

This time of year there are many opportunities for celebrating, but please be sure to do so responsibly. If you plan to consume alcohol, it is important to know your limits and recognize that alcohol consumption impacts your ability to drive or take part in other activities. Drinking and driving should never be mixed!

Please remember that the holidays can also be a difficult time for some, and it is important that we all keep an eye out for anyone we know who might be in crisis. It just takes a short time to check on your battle buddy, wingman or co-worker to make sure they are doing okay. If you or someone you know is in crisis, don’t hesitate to seek help by calling 1-800-273-8255 and press ’1′ for the Military Crisis Line or text to 838255. They are all available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It is also important to be vigilant and maintain heightened situational awareness during the holiday season. The best mindset to have is “See Something, Say Something.” If you see any suspicious activity, please contact the Virginia Fusion Center Hotline 877-482-8477. You can also find more information at the Fusion Center’s web site at http://www.vsp.state.va.us/FusionCenter/ and download the “See Something. Send Something.” mobile phone app.

The next year will continue to bring new challenges, but we are confident that with the great team we have in the Virginia National Guard, we can meet all those challenges head on and continue to be successful.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season,

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams
The 28th Adjutant General of Virginia

Command Sgt. Maj. Alan M. Ferris
Virginia National Guard Senior Enlisted Advisor