To the Soldiers and Airmen of the National Guard
Extraordinary Americans, including Presidents, Olympians, war heroes, and Hollywood stars have all been members of the National Guard. But as we celebrate Independence Day, the words of one Guardsman stand out—President Harry S. Truman.
Truman—a World War One combat veteran and a member of the Missouri National Guard—once said, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” As I travel across our great Nation, I see examples of Truman’s words in the Soldiers and Airmen of our National Guard.
I see it in the way we train for war, staying ready to defend our Nation. I see it in the way we solve problems differently, bringing civilian skills and experience to our military careers. I see it in the way we aim higher and fight harder, seizing every opportunity our service affords us. I see it in the families who greet us at the airport with hugs, flags, flowers, and signs, all decked out in red, white, and blue.
I see it in the Airman who teaches Sunday school working side by side with the Airman who celebrates Ramadan. I see it in the Soldier who became a naturalized citizen while deployed to defend the Capitol. I see it in every family with a legacy of service, and in every Guard member who is first in their family to serve.
With courage, imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand, the National Guard represents the best of America. United we remain Always Ready, Always There!
Daniel R. Hokanson
General, U.S. Army
Chief, National Guard Bureau
Tony L. Whitehead
Senior Enlisted Advisor
National Guard Bureau