Always Ready, Always There
By: Governor Kristi Noem
December 30, 2022
The men and women in our National Guard serve with excellence. They take their job seriously, so I take my responsibility to them as their Commander in Chief very seriously.
This week, I visited our 109th Regional Support Group at Fort Hood, Texas. They are staging to ship out to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. They will support troops on the ground in a wide variety of missions. Normally, we’d hold a deployment ceremony to say farewell and Godspeed, but the winter storms made that ceremony impossible for these troops. I thought it was important for them to know that I have their back – that while they’re defending Freedom over there, I’ll do my part to defend Freedom here.
While they’re gone, they will be in harm’s way. They’ll have families here at home concerned about them but so proud of their service. And when they come home, they’ll return to a grateful state and nation.
Speaking of the winter storms, our National Guard has been responding to those, too, particularly with assistance to our Native American tribes. We’ve put out into the field 6 payloaders, 3 snowblowers, 2 refuelers, 2 contact trucks, 2 wreckers, 9 semis and trailers, and 5 dump trucks full of firewood to help the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe deal with the effects of the winter storm.
I want to remind us why our troops serve us, and I’m going to borrow from America’s great orator, President Abraham Lincoln. In August 1864, as the Civil War continued on, President Lincoln thanked the 166th Ohio Regiment with these famous words:
“For the service you have done in this great struggle in which we are engaged, I present you sincere thanks for myself and the country… It is not merely for today, but for all time to come that we should perpetuate for our children’s children this great and free government, which we have enjoyed all our lives. I beg you to remember this, not merely for my sake, but for yours… The nation is worth fighting for, to secure such an inestimable jewel.”
We ask a lot of our Guard. We ask them to help keep our nation the “inestimable jewel” that we know and love. And they give us more than what we ask. They’re real American heroes. I am humbled to serve as their Commander in Chief, and I am grateful for their service every single day. God bless our troops!
You can find a photo of Governor Noem visiting with the 109th RSG at Fort Hood here.