A contingent of Vermont National Guard soldiers left Burlington on Friday for the first leg of a major deployment to Afghanistan. Maj. Gen. Michael Dubie presented the unit commander a folded green battle flag rich in history dating back to the Revolutionary War’s Green Mountain Boys. “On behalf of the people and the State of Vermont, we want to thank all of you, for your service to this state and country, and we know that for some of you, this deployment is not your first. Our hopes and our prayers are with you,” Senator Bernie Sanders told the departing soldiers during a ceremony at the Guard headquarters in South Burlington. “We know that you are going to serve the state and country faithfully and effectively, as you have in the past, and most importantly we want you home safely as soon as possible.”
“The mission that you are undertaking is of extraordinary importance because everybody understands that at the end of the day, the people of Afghanistan themselves, are the people who will be determining their future, and what you are doing, is going there to train their military and help train their police departments.
“I also want to say, is a word to the spouses and the kids and the parents of those who are being deployed. Everybody in this room understands that it is not just the men and women who are being deployed who are sacrificing for this country, we all understand that you are sacrificing as well.
“In this small state we have the intent of doing everything we can for you in their absence.
“Thank you very much for your service, and we look forward to seeing you home safely as soon as possible.”
To watch the senator’s remarks, click here.