CHARLESTON, WV –
Gov. Jim Justice addressed a room full of hundreds of West Virginia National Guard members and their loved ones today during a ceremony to commemorate the upcoming deployment of more than 500 WVNG soldiers to the Middle East.
“I, absolutely, cannot say enough about your bravery, your honor, your courage,” Gov. Justice said. “We owe everything we have – everything we have – to you. And I mean that very sincerely from the bottom of my heart.”
The event was held at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.
The soldiers set to be deployed are members of the 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment (1-150th), which has troops located across West Virginia; in Bluefield, Holden, Salem, Red House, and Glen Jean. Additional portions of the 1-150th are assigned to the North Carolina National Guard.
These 500-plus deploying soldiers will be joining forces with additional soldiers from Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina, combining to create the 30th Armored Brigade Team, which will consist of 4,200 soldiers in total.
All units of this team will travel to Ft. Bliss, Texas and spend the next 40-60 days making final preparations for their deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Their mission will be to sustain theater readiness to conduct unified land operations and to support partner nations in making the region safer.
“Know in your heart that every waning moment that you’re there, you’re there for all of us,” Gov. Justice said.
During his address, Gov. Justice praised the soldiers for the bravery they have already displayed in recent years, responding to people in need in West Virginia.
“I saw you respond to the worst disaster that I have ever been associated with: the flood of 2016,” Gov. Justice said.
The Governor also honored families, friends, and loved ones of the deploying soldiers, who were on hand for the event.
“These families…I know they’re worried, I know they’re concerned, and I know they love you, but I also know they’re really proud,” Gov. Justice said. “We will do anything and everything we can to help and look after them at all costs, at all times.
“God speed to every one of you and every last one of you, get back home as quick as you can.”