May 6, 2010

State employees recognized for contributions to Virginia Guard

By Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Virginia state employees supporting the Virginia National Guard were treated to an afternoon of fun and refreshments during the State Employee Appreciation Day celebration at Fort Pickett May 5, 2010 and were given the chance to meet with the Adjutant General of Virginia, Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., who thanked them for the hard work and dedication they bring to the Virginia Guard.

Maj. Randy Bridger flips burgers for the cookout celebrating Virginia state employeesat Fort Pickett May 5, 2010 in recognition of their hard work and contributions to the organization. The employees enjoyed a cookout, a softball derby and hula hoop competition. (Photo by Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

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Beth Nelson prepares to swing at a pitch during the softball competiton at a picnic to honor state employees at Fort Pickett May 5, 2010. Nelson is a state employee who works in Range Operations at the Maneuver Training Center on Fort Pickett. (Photo by Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs) 

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“We thank you for the great work that you do,” said Newman, the Virginia Guard’s top officer. “I look forward to continuing to serve with you. You are recognized, not only in words, but also in tangible ways for the terrific service you have all done.”

“The state employees in Virginia do a tremendous amount of work on behalf of the National Guard. It goes often unrecognized,” added Newman. “They are behind the scenes guys and gals. They are not only the cogs in the wheel; they are the grease that makes it go.

“This is just a small way to say thank you.”

The approximately 100 state employees and Guard personnel enjoyed a cookout, complete with desserts baked by volunteers supporting the event.  Following the lunch, they competed in a softball derby where participants competed by hitting five softballs in a home run derby-style event.

Following the softball derby the honorees fought for the top spot in the hula hoop competition. The winner of the event was determined by whoever could keep the hula hoop spinning the longest before touching the ground.

“They could spin it on their necks, their heads or their waists. As long as they keep it spinning, they will win,” said Lt. Col. Whit Bragg, director of the Department of Public Works.

The day’s events were a good way to thank the employees for the work they do, but the cookout also served as a catalyst for the employees to meet up with other employees on Fort Pickett that they may not usually get to mingle and interact with.

“It gives us a chance to see the other employees that work out here,” said Jessica York, a range maintenance worker at the Maneuver Training Center’s Multi-Purpose Range Complex. “I had fun because I got lunch and I got to hang out with everybody else that works here.”

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