Guardlife - Volume 30, Number 2

Table of Contents

 Guardlife Staff
 TAG's Message
 CSM's Message
 177th Supports OEF
 Combat Veteran to Head NJANG
 'Faithful and Brave' Arrive
 1-114th Deploys to Arrabian Penninsula
 253rd TC Back from Iraq
 Mobilization Page
 News Guard Families Can Use
 Salute the Troops
 NJNG Newsmakers
 Jersey Air Guardsman Wins Services Award
 Photos from Iraq
 Finance Battalion Update
 Family Appreciation Day
 Short Rounds
 NJ Places 17th in NG Marathon
 Army and Air Enlisted Promotions
 In Memoriam

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TAG's MessageTAG's Message

By Brig. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth,
The Adjutant General of New Jersey

As we approach the traditional summer vacation season, more and more New Jersey National Guardsmen find themselves mobilized for extended active duty…and more and more Guard families are learning how to cope with the extended absence of their loved ones. This may not be the scenario many of us envisioned pre-September 11th, 2001…but it’s a stark reality now in 2004. Through all the “Support the Troops” rallies, and even in light of the wonderful homecoming we shared with the members of the 253rd Transportation Company who returned from Iraq in May, there is a growing sense of the seriousness of the missions we have been asked to serve.

The harsh reality of war and the potential, deadly consequences of armed conflict came home in early June with our first four New Jersey Army Guard combat casualties. It came home again with the tragic death of another soldier killed in a car accident on his way back to Fort Dix. These tragic occurrences are indeed sobering. Yet the courage, commitment, and determination of our Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen remain undiminished. It is this character of our military members that embodies their selfless dedication.

As we continue to prepare for upcoming missions and deployments, we need to remain focused on our objectives. Those involved in training, preparation, and support also need to be the best they can be at doing those things. I like to refer to our National Guard as “New Jersey’s Home Town Team”. And at this point in time, that’s exactly what it’s going to take for us to succeed … a team effort.

We have received tremendous support from throughout our local communities, from civilian employers to local organizations, as well as exceptional support from our families. For our part, we’ll take care of the training, equipment, and supplies. We’ll ensure that every soldier we deploy is fully prepared to deploy. Federal law provides certain guarantees regarding re-employment and job status when you come home. Our extensive family assistance and family support network will help care of your families while you’re away. It’s up to you to take care of yourself and help take care of your fellow soldiers.

The summer months encompass three major patriotic holidays. We began with the somewhat somber observance of Memorial Day at the end of May, we celebrate the Army’s birthday on Flag Day in the middle of June, and we fully immerse ourselves in the festivities and fireworks surrounding Independence Day on the 4th of July. Despite the difference in mood or flavor, all three of these holidays reflect the very same pride in the values that made America great … democracy, liberty, and freedom. And they reflect our nation’s pride in the members of our Armed Forces. These annual patriotic observances also serve to remind us that we enjoy the gifts of freedom and liberty only because courageous young men and women like you, and the brave veterans who preceded you, have always been willing to fight to defend that freedom.

On behalf of all the people of New Jersey, and all your fellow citizens of these United States, “Thank you” for answering the call …”Thank you” for the sacrifices you have made…and “Thank you” for your patriotism and your service to our great state and nation.