By Maj. Gen. Greg Knight
Vermont National Guard
Happy Veterans Day! Thank you for your service. On Veterans Day, we honor your service to our communities, state and nation. Wherever and whenever you are needed, you serve willingly.
As you may have heard me say before, we live in a world where all too many say "I can't" or "I won't" when asked about serving in our military. Despite the challenges, sacrifice and inconvenience - and it is rarely convenient - each of you said "I will serve." Where would we be as a nation without people like you? Given the past year and half, it is a rhetorical question. Our Guard has supported Governor Scott and our citizens in addressing the pandemic. Some of what you have done:
- Provided 70,000 vaccines to Vermonters - Thank you Task Force Coyote! Well done!
- Collected over 34,000 test samples
- Assembled and distributed over half a million test kits
- Interviewed over 13,000 close contacts as part of contact tracing
- Assembled a 400 bed Alternate Care Facility (twice)
- Distributed 3.2 million meals to Vermonters feeling the pinch of the pandemic
- Offloaded over 660 trucks at the SNS warehouse, organizing and distributing 1.8 million products
- Responded to our Nation’s Capital on short notice, arriving within 72 hours of the request to provide security
And our Guard did this while preparing for, and deploying, 85 Airmen and nearly 1000 Soldiers to three combatant commands. Our Air National Guard persevered, and excelled, during three significant training deployments to Florida, Wisconsin and Nevada, setting the conditions to come out of conversion as an operational F35 fighter wing. Our Army National Guard is currently serving in southwest Asia, the Horn of Africa, and in Kosovo, standing in the breach to maintain regional peace and stability. Providing this level of service demands effort, courage, sacrifice and commitment. I am proud of our Vermont National Guard, as you should be. Wear it. Be proud of your service - you make us better, as a Guard, as a state, and as a Nation. I offer special thanks to your families, without whom we cannot do our jobs. They know too well the sacrifices you make, and are there making them with you. So yes, Happy Veteran’s Day. Thanks for being a part of it.
Put the Vermonters Ahead!