To the Soldiers, Airmen, and Families of the National Guard
Yesterday, the last of our service members in Afghanistan started their journey home. Our National Guard support to the military mission in Afghanistan is now complete. The past two decades have not been an easy chapter in our Nation's history, nor has it been without setbacks and sacrifices. The recent loss of thirteen of our brothers and sisters in arms is a stark and sharp reminder of all that military service entails, and the dangers inherent in our chosen profession. Yet despite these dangers, we step forward to serve this great Nation, holding our heads high.
We are forever grateful to the men and women who served in Afghanistan, and the families who supported them. We will continue to proudly wear the cloth of our nation, and remember the heroism and sacrifices made by so many, especially our Gold Star Families.
More than a generation of Americans fought so our Nation would not live in fear. We fought to bring hope and freedom to the people of Afghanistan. We fought to uphold our Nation's values and our American way of life. We did not choose these battles, but we fought them all the same. And we never lost sight of our duty as Citizen Soldiers and Airmen.
Our promise endures, "Always Ready, Always There!"
Daniel R. Hokanson
General, U.S. Army
Chief, National Guard Bureau
Tony L. Whitehead
SEA, U.S. Air Force
National Guard Bureau