PRAYER BREAKFAST SALUTES ARMED FORCES DAY

Story by: CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG

Posted: Sep. 01, 2016

Texas State Guard chaplains and unit commanders join together to pay tribute to the men and women of the United States and Texas military forces on Armed Forces Day at Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas, May 21, 2016.  Presenters at this seventh prayer breakfast include George Washington impersonator Mark Collins, Kim Pedersen of 1000bulbs.com, and Bagpiper Steve Pruitt.  (Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG/Released)
Texas State Guard chaplains and unit commanders join together to pay tribute to the men and women of the United States and Texas military forces on Armed Forces Day at Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas, May 21, 2016.  Presenters at this seventh prayer breakfast include George Washington impersonator Mark Collins, Kim Pedersen of 1000bulbs.com, and Bagpiper Steve Pruitt.  (Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG/Released)

DALLAS – Texas State Guardsmen from North Texas gathered to honor the U.S. and Texas service members at the Seventh Annual Texas State Guard Military Prayer Breakfast at Dallas Baptist University, May 21, 2016. 
More than 200 State Guard chaplains and troops from North Texas, along with family members and friends, joined together to salute their fellow service members.  

“The Texas State Guard is proud to honor the men and women of the U.S Armed Forces on Armed Forces Day,” said State Guard chaplain, Maj. Dale Vick, 2nd Regiment. “Texas State Guard chaplains organize this event every year." 

The program included an inspirational presentation by Gen. George Washington impersonator, Mark Collins, who spoke about how his faith guided him during the difficult times during the American Revolution.  
To honor Texas State Guardsmen who had passed away during the previous year, Chaplains (Capt.) David Fish, 4th Regiment, and 1st Lt. Shane Tomlinson, 19th Regiment, conducted a roll call ceremony, identifying each troop, followed by the ringing of a bell and “Taps,” played by Eagle Scout Travis Wattigney.  

Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., also presented the Sword of Solomon to Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jerald Garner for his dedicated service to the Texas State Guard.  Garner initiated the prayer breakfast in 2009 and created the statewide annual Texas State Guard "Heroes of the Guard" Christmas Toy Drive, where soldiers collect thousands of toys and deliver them to children who will spend the holidays at hospitals across Texas.

Other high points of the breakfast included the swearing in of Texas State Guard Chaplains (Col.) Douglas Sewell and (1st Lt. Steve Kavli, the playing of "Amazing Grace" by Bagpiper Steve Pruitt, the singing of "America the Beautiful" by Jeannie Miller, key note speaker remarks by Kim Pederson, former Hydraulic Aviation Technicians for the U.S. Navy and founder of 1000bulbs.com and the welcoming remarks of Dr. Dennis Linam of Dallas Baptist University.  The 4th Regiment Color Guard presented the colors.

The Texas State Guard is the state's volunteer military agency; trained, organized and ready to respond when a disaster strikes and Texans need help. It is comprised of more than 1,800 volunteers organized into four components – Army, Air, Medical and Maritime – with individual units assigned throughout the state.