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    Governor Perry meets with 36th Infantry Division Soldiers

    Governor Perry meets with 36th Infantry Division Soldiers

    Photo By Sgt. Jeremy Spires | The longest running governor in Texas history, Rick Perry, met with 36th Infantry...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Spires 

    36th Infantry Division (TXARNG)

    FORT HOOD, Texas – Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a visit to the soldiers of the 36th Infantry Division last week during their Annual Training event at Fort Hood.

    “I cannot tell you what a privilege it is to get to be the governor of the great state of Texas, and to know that there are great men and women like you who serve sacrificially and understand the importance of what ya’ll do,” said Perry as he addressed the assembly of soldiers that were waiting for his arrival at the Division’s headquarters.

    Perry has met with 36th Inf. Div. soldiers overseas and at deployment ceremonies, but this was first time he had visited an annual training site.

    His morning began meeting with Texas Military Forces leadership followed by a battlefield circulation of the annual training sites. His primary stop was a visit to the 36th Inf. Div. mortar school.

    “It is not everyday that the Governor of Texas comes out in this heat just to meet with soldiers,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Reyes, a mortar platoon Sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard.

    Reyes, a native of San Antonio, was given this opportunity when the Governor; Maj. Gen. James K. “Red” Brown, the 36th Infantry Division Commanding General; and Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, visited the Division Mortar School.

    “It was a true honor to brief Governor Perry,” said Reyes. “I pretty much let him know what type of training we are doing here, how we are doing the training, and ultimately what our desired outcome from it will be.”

    His arrival marked the midway point, and a major highlight of this exercise for many service members who were enduring the triple digit days and realistic training exercises.

    The Texas summer heat did not stop Perry from trekking in full military protective gear to the firing lines, where soldiers from throughout the state of Texas waited eagerly to meet him.

    “I just want to come out here and tell you thank you,” said Perry as he shook hands with mortar gun crews.

    During his trip down the “line,” he was given the chance to do something that not many people in a political office can boast about, fire 120mm and High Explosive mortars down range at targets. As the dust settled and smoke cleared, you could hear him telling the crew jokingly, “Now that is how it’s done!”

    “I hope all of you understand how special you are,” remarked Perry. “You truly are the future of this country and coming from an old guy (like me) it makes me very, very proud to know that there are individuals like you who are willing to hold your hand up … and say, ‘Here I am, send me.’”

    “I don’t get to do this often enough,” he said. “You make me incredibly proud to work with you, and to be part of a team. This is as good as it gets.”



    Date Taken: 08.05.2013
    Date Posted: 08.19.2013 12:40
    Story ID: 112209
    Location: TX, US

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