West Virginia has a longstanding history of service. Our state has some of the most hard working and loyal veterans and active duty military in the country. They have served our state with pride, and we couldn’t be more honored to claim them as our own. We are humbled and grateful for their selfless service and dedication to ensuring our safety. On this Veterans Day, please take the time to say “thank you” to the veterans in your life. Whether a loved one or an acquaintance, the men and women who put service before self are to be commended for their bravery and patriotism.
Last month, I had the great honor of meeting with a group of troops who had recently returned home to West Virginia after an overseas deployment. Members from the 130th Airlift Wing had been working in Kuwait and Afghanistan. They had been away from their families for five long months. As I spoke with them about their experience, I was again reminded of the sacrifices our wonderful military families make. They, too, deserve to be recognized for all they have sacrificed.
I know I’m not the only West Virginian who is so deeply appreciative of their service. In September, I organized a project to collect items for our deployed troops as a part of my Day to Serve initiative. I asked state employees to donate items to be put into care packages and shipped overseas. The response was overwhelming-within a week we had enough to assemble hundreds of care packages. I hope the care packages brought a little piece of West Virginia to all of our troops.
This Veterans Day let us come together and celebrate their valor and that of those who’ve worn the uniform from years-and generations-past. Line the streets for this year’s Veterans Day Parade, stand tall and thank the men and women who hold their heads high as they are paraded through the streets like the heroes they truly are to you and me. This year, the Veterans Day National Committee designated Charleston as one of the country’s 62 regional sites for the observance of Veterans Day 2012. We appreciate this honor and look forward to celebrating our veterans.
Our great state is blessed to enjoy a long legacy of military service. Thank you, to all of our veterans.