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Gen. Glenn K. Rieth,
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 Jerseys Home Town Team. And at this point in time, thats exactly what its 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, well take care of the training, equipment, and supplies. Well 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 youre away. Its 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 Armys 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 nations 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.