March 8, 2010

House of Delegates celebrates accomplishments of Virginia Guard, Virginia Defense Force

By Maj. Cotton Puryear
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia House of Delegates recognized the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force March 8 with center-aisle presentation of Joint Resolution No. 305 on the House floor. Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, received the resolution on behalf of the more than 10,000 Virginia Guard Soldiers, Airmen and VDF members. In addition to Newman, six members of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force who have served overseas and on state active duty were on hand for the presentation.

  House of Delegates celebrates Virginia Guard and Virginia Defense Force

Members of the Virginia House of Delegates give a standing ovation in appreciation of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force March 8 in Richmond. The House recognized the Guard and VDF with center-aisle presentation of Joint Resolution No. 305 on the House floor. Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, received the resolution on behalf of the more than 10,000 Virginia Guard Soldiers, Airmen and VDF members. In addition to Newman, six members of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force who have served overseas and on state active duty were on hand for the presentation. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)
Please visit the Virginia Guard Flickr page for more photos from this event.

“Members of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force are indeed quiet sentinels of all Virginians,” said Del. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake. “They are called to duty on a moment's notice and leave their families, their jobs and their communities to serve at the direction of the governor and the president of the United States. We need to thank these patriots and their families for their sacrifice on our behalf.”

Cosgrove asked the members of the House of Delegates, their staff and guests in the gallery to stand and recognize “the brave men and women” of the Virginia Guard and VDF, and his request was followed by a loud applause throughout the chamber.

“On behalf of the entire House of Delegates, we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for all that you and your men and women have done for so many years for our commonwealth and country,” said House Speaker William J. Howell. “We cannot begin to thank you for all the sacrifices that you have made.”

The resolution leads off with the statement “the courageous Soldiers and Airmen of the Virginia National Guard have made outstanding and valuable contributions to the defense of the United States and the security of the Commonwealth and have advanced the cause of freedom around the world” and also states “the Virginia Defense Force continues to be integrated into every major operation conducted by the Virginia National Guard and the highly decorated, all-volunteer force has added to its capabilities, allowing the Virginia Defense Force to successfully respond to the needs of the citizens of the Commonwealth on the land, in the air, and on the water.”

“It is an honor for me to receive this recognition of the significant accomplishments of our Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force, and I want to thank the House of Delegates for passing this resolution in their honor,” Newman said. “Whether here in Virginia or overseas, members of the Virginia Guard and VDF are committed to protecting the ideals of freedom and safeguarding the citizens of the commonwealth when in need.”

The Virginia Senate also passed Senate Joint Resolution No. 196.

Spc. Daisy Hill and Sgt Christopher Neal of Farmville represented the Virginia Army National Guard, Staff Sgt. Kevin Singleton of Chesepeake and Staff Sgt. Ira Jones of Rockville represented the Virginia Air National Guard and First Sgt. Charles E. Brown of Richmond and Sgt. Margie E. Stetson of Richmond represented the Virginia Defense Force.

Hill supported numerous state active duty missions including both the president’s and governor’s inauguration and winter storms in late 2009 and early 2010. Neal served two tours in Iraq as well as duty on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Singleton served in Iraq while on active duty with the Air Force and returned again as a member of the Virginia Air National Guard. Jones served as an engineer with the Virginia Army National Guard in Iraq in 2005, switched to the Air Guard and served in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Brown, a retired Richmond police officer, has served in the VDF for five years and has supported more than a dozen missions including the governor’s inauguration. Stetson helped provide communications support for the Guard’s Irish Rain exercise in 2009 as well as the governor’s inauguration.

The full text of the resolution is below.

The Virginia Army National Guard, the Virginia Air National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force all fall under the Virginia Department of Military Affairs. The DMA plans, coordinates, maintains situational awareness and employ forces for homeland security and homeland defense in order to respond to any incidents with the commonwealth.  On order of the Governor, the DMA will provide capabilities to assist civil authorities in protecting life and property, preserving peace, order and public safety.  

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 305

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HJ305

Offered February 18, 2010

Celebrating the accomplishments of the Virginia National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force in 2009.

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Patrons-- Cosgrove, Abbitt, Abbott, Albo, Alexander, Anderson, Armstrong, Athey, BaCote, Barlow, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Brink, Bulova, Byron, Carr, Carrico, Cleaveland, Cline, Cole, Comstock, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Crockett-Stark, Dance, Ebbin, Edmunds, Englin, Garrett, Gear, Gilbert, Greason, Griffith, Herring, Hope, Howell, A.T., Howell, W.J., Hugo, Iaquinto, Ingram, James, Janis, Joannou, Johnson, Jones, Keam, Kilgore, Knight, Kory, Landes, LeMunyon, Lewis, Lingamfelter, Lohr, Loupassi, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, May, McClellan, McQuinn, Merricks, Miller, J.H., Miller, P.J., Morefield, Morgan, Morrissey, Nixon, Nutter, O'Bannon, Oder, Orrock, Peace, Phillips, Plum, Pogge, Poindexter, Pollard, Purkey, Putney, Rust, Scott, E.T., Scott, J.M., Sherwood, Shuler, Sickles, Spruill, Stolle, Surovell, Tata, Torian, Toscano, Tyler, Villanueva, Ward, Ware, O., Ware, R.L., Watts and Wright; Senators: Barker, Blevins, Colgan, Deeds, Edwards, Hanger, Herring, Houck, Howell, Hurt, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, Martin, McDougle, McEachin, McWaters, Miller, J.C., Miller, Y.B., Newman, Norment, Northam, Obenshain, Petersen, Puckett, Puller, Quayle, Reynolds, Ruff, Saslaw, Smith, Stosch, Stuart, Ticer, Vogel, Wagner, Wampler, Watkins and Whipple

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WHEREAS, the courageous soldiers and airmen of the Virginia National Guard have made outstanding and valuable contributions to the defense of the United States and the security of the Commonwealth and have advanced the cause of freedom around the world; and

WHEREAS, these same soldiers and airmen have put themselves in harm's way, fought bravely, made great sacrifices, and provided an example of selfless service for all the citizens of the Commonwealth and the nation; and

WHEREAS, the following units have completed remarkable deployments and successfully returned from active duty in 2009: the Richmond-based 1710th Transportation Company, the Manassas-based Regional Computer Emergency Response Team, two Afghanistan Embedded Training Teams, the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company, the Manassas-based 266th Military Police Company, and the Richmond-based 276th Engineer Battalion; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Air Guard successfully deployed airmen in 2009 from the 192d Fighter Wing, 203d RED HORSE Squadron, and 200th Weather Flight to Afghanistan, Djibouti, Guantanamo Bay, Guam, Iraq, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, McMurdo Station Antarctica, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates; and

WHEREAS, more than 1,400 Virginia Guard personnel including the Army Guard, Air Guard, and the Virginia Defense Force were on duty to support the 56th Presidential Inauguration; and

WHEREAS, the Maneuver Training Center, Fort Pickett, was designated as one of three Virginia military bases to receive the Virginia Department of Defense Eagle Award for Environmental Stewardship; and

WHEREAS, soldiers from the Virginia National Guard’s Bowling Green-based 189th Engineer Company assisted in constructing a temporary bridge for the Town of Big Stone Gap that allowed uninterrupted traffic flow while a permanent bridge was being constructed; and

WHEREAS, Virginia Army National Guard soldiers were mobilized on state active duty to support flood recovery in West Virginia and Virginia and to provide emergency assistance when a major winter storm struck the Commonwealth, rescuing stranded motorists and delivering food and supplies to isolated counties, all in support of the Virginia National Guard’s mission to save the lives and property of Virginians and the citizens of our sister states; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Defense Force continues to be integrated into every major operation conducted by the Virginia National Guard and the highly decorated, all-volunteer force has added to its capabilities, allowing the Virginia Defense Force to successfully respond to the needs of the citizens of the Commonwealth on the land, in the air, and on the water; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard’s Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated the largest class in the history of the program in December 2009; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the Virginia National Guard and its dedicated soldiers, airmen, and civilian employees for their devotion to duty and many outstanding and valuable contributions to the defense of the United States and the Commonwealth; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Major General Robert B. Newman, Jr., Adjutant General of Virginia, on behalf of the patriotic soldiers, airmen, and civilian employees under his command as an expression of the General Assembly’s gratitude for their dedication to the citizens of the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

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