National Guard saluted at birthday celebration

December 15, 2018
Members of the Nebraska National Guard 43rd Army Band perform during the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day Display Dedication at Memorial Stadium in November.

With about 200 members of the Nebraska National Guard deployed around the world, Gov. Pete Ricketts saluted the National Guard on Friday at a celebration marking the 382nd year of the nation’s citizen military force.

“These are men and women who stand up and protect our fellow citizens,” the governor said during a gathering in the Capitol Rotunda punctuated by military pomp and ceremony.

The National Guard was established in 1636. The Nebraska National Guard will mark its 164th birthday on Dec. 23.

Ricketts noted that the men and women who join the National Guard “sacrifice family time (and) put their lives on the line for us.”

Members of the Guard are volunteers “who know not only that they will be deployed,” the governor said. “They want to be deployed.”

When he is in contact with regular Army commanders, as he most recently was at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Ricketts said, “they have the highest praise for Nebraska’s National Guard.”

Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska’s adjutant general, said members of the Guard train at 23 sites in the state.

Friday’s ceremony featured military music along with row after row of uniformed Guard personnel gathered in a festive Rotunda decorated with a majestic Christmas tree.

The event ended with a holiday cake and punch reception in the Capitol’s cafe.

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