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Armed Forces Day (May 18) Message From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2002 – On Armed Forces Day 1962, President John F. Kennedy advised the people of the United States to "guard zealously (the) right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard." Today, the citizens of our Nation pause to honor those of you who have exercised that right and volunteered to defend our country. It is my privilege to join them in recognizing the dedication of every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman who serves in our Armed Forces.

This past year has shown once again the depths of your courage and commitment, and your willingness to endure hardship. Whether National Guard, Reserve or active duty; whether serving on land, at sea, or in the air; whether deployed for combat operations, participating in multinational exercises, or training for future missions, you have performed magnificently. All the citizens of our country know they can depend on you to get the job done.

Many of you will be unable to attend the ceremonies acknowledging your service - - because you are on duty around the Nation and the world, defending America's interests and fighting the terrorists who threaten to destroy our way of life. Be assured that the people of the United States recognize and appreciate your sacrifice. You continue to demonstrate the very best our Nation has to offer. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and I join all Americans in paying tribute to you and your families. May God bless our country and all of you who serve her.

Gen. Richard B. Myers, USAF

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