Guard Day at the State Capitol
By Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum, 111th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 12, 2012
WILLOW GROVE AIR RESERVE STATION, Pa. -- On June 14th, Flag Day, representatives from a variety of Pennsylvania Air and Army guard units met at the state capitol in Harrisburg. An estimated 75 military members and select military equipment contractors enlightened state representatives, state employees and visitors as to the diverse missions the Guard provides to the defense and aid for the state and country.
Displays were setup in the main entrance for people passing by to talk to the unit representatives to visualize the unit's equipment and gain understanding of the
diverse missions each unit contributes. Demonstrations and displays varied from life size mannequins for training of combat injuries to unmanned field employable observation aircraft.
Attending State guard members were granted a "midday audience," or meet and greet with Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Corbett (Rep.) where Maj. Gen. Wesley General, Pennsylvania adjutant general, presented the governor with a plaque recognizing his leadership of the state's militia, and showing appreciation for the governor's own 14 year service in the National Guard. Upon receiving the plaque, Corbett commented that he regretted not continuing his guard career to complete his 20 years.
Governor Corbett is the first governor of Pennsylvania that was also a member of this state's National Guard. The date of the award also closely reflects what would have been Corbett's 40th anniversary of his enlistment.
The afternoon session of the state representative kicked off with a proposal and vote on a resolution designating June 14th as "National Guard Day." Passage of the resolution was immediate and unanimous. "A fitting salute to honor our citizen soldiers, past, present and future," said Craig.
Predating the American flag, our own Benjamin Franklin, statesman, philosopher and inventor developed the predecessor to the National Guard and formed the state's first guard unit in 1747, 256 years ago. Participating in the French and Indian war through today's national objectives, Pennsylvanians have been employed over 25,000 times.