January 28, 2008
Top National Guard General visits Virginia Guard Soldiers
Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, spoke with Soldiers stationed on Camp Patriot, Kuwait, about the state of the National Guard.
By Spc. Jason C. Kemp
3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment Public Affairs
CAMP PATRIOT, Kuwait – The National Guard Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, at Camp Patriot visited with their top general this month.
Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, spoke with Soldiers stationed on Camp Patriot, Kuwait, to say thanks for their service, and to answer questions and concerns about the state of the National Guard.
“I came here to say thanks to you,” said Blum and he expressed his appreciation for the service the 3rd Bn., 116th Inf. Regt., is providing the United States. “When you call up the Guard, you call up America. We can go anywhere around the globe and stand shoulder to shoulder with active duty Soldiers and no one can tell a difference.
“The best quality force is the National Guard,” Blum said.
As a former commanding general of the 29th Division from 1999 to 2002, Blum said the 3rd Bn., 116th Inf. Regt., National Guard Soldiers and the Guard itself is very well trained.
The National Guard is made up of Soldiers who live most of their lives as civilians, Blum said.
“That may be more valuable than the military training that you bring,” he said.
Blum said National Guard Soldiers have practical experience because of civilian jobs and training that a lot of active duty Soldiers just can’t get.
The 29th Division consists of Soldiers from both north and south of the Mason Dixon Line. The 3rd Bn., 116th Inf. Regt., National Guard Soldiers have trained hard for their mission in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and continually improves their tactics, techniques and procedures to ensure the safety and security of their mission and the other Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines around them.
“Your Soldiers are of almost every race, color, creed and religion,” Blum said. “But those things mean nothing. You’re better because you’re different.”