Nov. 10, 2011

Adjutant General Veterans Day message

This Friday, November 11, 2011, the country celebrates Veterans Day. Veterans Day is an important opportunity to remember and to thank those who honorably served in the past and those that courageously wear the uniform today. As important as it is to recognize the service of our veterans past and present, it is also our unwavering obligation to ensure we honor their sacrifices by maintaining a greater commitment to excellence and by continuing to make the Virginia National Guard the very best organization it can be and a source of pride for us all.

In addition to Veterans Day this week, next month we'll also celebrate the 375th anniversary of the National Guard. Although Virginia traces its Citizen-Soldier heritage back to 1607, the official founding of the National Guard dates back to December 13, 1636. For generations, Guardsmen across the country have pulled their weight at home and abroad for the public good and that history continues this day. Since 9/11, the National Guard has mobilized over 480,000 guardsmen; of those mobilized, Virginia has contributed over 14,000 Virginia Army and Air National Guard members. Today, we have over 1,300 members of the Virginia National Guard deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to honoring our veterans this Friday, I also encourage you to remember the proud heritage and traditions of the National Guard as we approach our 375th birthday.

President George Washington once stated, "the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

To the Veterans, we honor your valor and your exemplary service. To the men and women in service today who uphold the long legacy, we thank you for your tireless commitment to the safety and security of this nation and to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

As always- make safety first and take care of each other- I am proud to serve with you all.

Major General Long
The Adjutant General

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