|May has been designated as National Military Appreciation Month and is a time for us to honor current and former members of the Armed Forces of the United States. The designation resulted from legislation introduced by the late Senator John McCain in 1999. Senator McCain was a Navy pilot who endured several years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.|
One of the reasons May was chosen as National Military Appreciation Month was because of the number of individual days already designated during the month to honor members of the military. Military Spouse Appreciation Day is the Friday before Mother’s Day. May 8th is VE Day, commemorating the end of World War II in Europe and the surrender of Nazi Germany. Armed Forces Day is the third Saturday in May and Memorial Day is the last Monday in the month.
Those of us who are sworn members of the Maryland Department of State Police know what it is like to raise your hand and swear an oath to protect and serve the people of our state. We know that service can mean transfers and various duty assignments throughout the state.
However, to raise your hand and swear an oath to serve and defend our nation is an entirely different promise. Members of our military have little idea where in the world their service might take them or on what battlefield they may one day find themselves. Yet, these dedicated men and women proudly do their duty around the world to protect our nation and serve the cause of freedom.
To each of the veterans within the Maryland Department of State Police family, I want to convey my deepest gratitude for your service to our nation. Thank you for being willing to serve.
To those who continue to serve as members of the National Guard and Reserves, my thanks and appreciation go out to you as well. The ongoing war on terrorism and the uncertainty in our world today continue to make this a challenging time for military personnel and their families. Thank you for being willing to serve both our state and our nation during these difficult days.
I appreciate the work of our Department’s military liaison, Lieutenant Pat Metzger. Having also served in the military almost 30 years, he knows firsthand the challenges of being both a state trooper and a member of the military. I am proud of the emphasis the Maryland Department of State Police continues to have on supporting our military members and their families. I remind every veteran or current military member that Lieutenant Metzger and the resources of our Department are ready to assist you at any time, but especially during your periods of deployment.
According to Lieutenant Metzger’s latest information, there are 66 sworn and civilian members of the Maryland Department of State Police in a reserve component of the military. Several are on military deployment and several more have deployment orders pending. I am happy to report we will soon be welcoming Captain Prendi Garcia and First Sergeant Mike Taluskie back from their latest deployments.
The United States of America is proud and free today because good and courageous men and women have been willing to endure the rigors of military life, say goodbye to their families and risk their lives in a duty station or on a battlefield far from home. We can never repay them for their service, but we can always be grateful.
We can show our gratitude in multiple ways. A small but important way is to simply thank a veteran for their service.
So to our retirees and our active members who are veterans and to those who continue to serve, I say thank you on behalf of our entire Maryland State Police family. You are appreciated. Thank you for always being on watch and defending our nation. Thank you for bringing your discipline and skills with you to our Department. We are a better organization because of you.
Our prayer is for peace in our world. Our confidence is in knowing the members of our military are the best in the world and they stand ready to defend our nation whenever and wherever they are needed.
|Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III|
Maryland Department of State Police