Story by: Capt. Martha Nigrelle
Posted: March 19, 2015
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas legislature recognized the members of the Texas Military for their service to the state and nation, March 19, 2015, during Texas Military Forces Day at the Capitol in Austin.
As part of the day, legislators and their staff members spent time visiting with numerous guardsmen to discuss the roles and capabilities of the guard in Texas.
The TXMF used the day to showcase the force, which featured representatives from across the force, as well as two different rifle and pistol simulators. Organizers from the TXMF Government Affairs team said their goal was to increase awareness and understanding of the TXMF’s dual state and federal mission to both state representatives and the general public.
Visitors remained engaged dueling on the simulators and learning more about their Texas Guard. Ana Ramon, chief of staff for state Representative Joe Farias (San Antonio), said she found it fascinating how so many different components came together to serve as one.
“Often, decision making is done on a very superficial level,” Ramon said. “When you have someone you are talking to who lives it, who sees it every day, it gives you the drive and the motivation to dig deeper and find not just the cause, but what the systemic root of an issue is and how we can help that.”
Guardsmen set up informational booths focusing specifically on the Army, Air and State Guards, the facilities and maintenance office, the Texas Challenge Academy, the Civil Support Team, Domestic Operations and the unique skill sets and capabilities each of these components provides.
“We wanted to make sure as many divisions in the National Guard and State Guard could be represented as possible,” said Jordy Keith, TXMF government affairs deputy director-state. “We wanted the legislators and the general public to see what the Texas National Guard and Texas State Guard does for Texas.”
Many of the service members working the event took a break to visit the Senate, in session, where they received a standing ovation in thanks, by all representatives and member of the public present, for the service TXMF gives to both the state and nation.
“I thought today went extremely well,” said Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general – Texas, “They got to meet you all, they didn’t just see Nichols. They got to see the National Guard.”
Just before the Senate session began, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stopped by the event to visit with the troops and thank them for their service.
“America depends on a strong Texas,” said Patrick. “And a strong Texas relies on all of you.”