Earl Ray Tomblin
Governor of West Virginia
On many of our mantles is a cherished photo. The photo is of a soldier in the field during a training exercise, an airman departing for deployment, a guardsman delivering meals after a storm, or maybe someone you’ve never met, whose name you’ve only seen on The Wall. Characterized by dedication, honor and courage, this photo holds special meaning because it shows our loved one’s story of selfless service-revealing strength of character.
Throughout the years, many West Virginians have given their service to our state and nation-with some departing for deployments overseas while their families wait patiently for them to return. Whether serving here at home or half-way around the world, our military men and women defend our freedom and ensure our safety.
To show our gratitude, Joanne and I want to honor our troops and show our appreciation for their families this holiday season. This year, a Military Recognition tree will take center stage in the Governor’s Reception Room of the State Capitol. This tree will stand tall as a symbol of our support for our military men and women, and their loved ones. We encourage West Virginians to send in photos of their family members or friends who have served or are serving in the military. So far, the response has been remarkable. Joanne and I are looking forward to seeing all the photos displayed on this year’s Military Recognition tree. We truly believe this project is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our state’s proud tradition of service and our appreciation for those who’ve sacrificed for us and our country.
As we prepare for the holiday season, Joanne and I ask you to remember those who’ve left behind their families and friends to protect us. We are forever grateful for their selfless service. Please join us in honoring our military men and women, this holiday season, by contributing a copy of your cherished photo for the Military Recognition tree. Please mail your photo, along with the form and tag below, to the West Virginia Governor’s Mansion by November 23, 2012. For more information, visit www.governor.wv.gov.