Senator Baker Receives Patrick Henry Award from the National Guard Association of the United States

When running for office, I did not imagine that veterans’ issues and military preparedness matters would be chief concentrations so early on. The assignment as committee chair is significant any time, but even more so now because of the demands placed on Pennsylvania’s National Guard units with our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is a continuing honor working with the leaders and members of our National Guard. In my experience, the Guard is well-led, well-trained, and well-prepared for the challenges of defending freedom and responding to catastrophe. From my vantage point, the commitment and the capacity of the National Guard are quite impressive. We should never underestimate the quality of those who volunteer, all that it takes to be ready, or the risks and hazards they face when deployed.

For the members of the Guard, and for all those who serve in some branch of our armed forces, the call to duty is their priority. For those of us holding elected office, providing services and fulfilling our obligations should not be buried down the list of political priorities. These are fundamental responsibilities we must not lose sight of or set aside. Our obligations do not come with expiration dates or economic exceptions for troubled times.

Commentators talk about what is called political courage, but that is a pale imitation of the reality of combat zone courage.

As a nation, we are adept at saying the right words at the right moment in thanking and paying tribute to our service personnel and our veterans. What we need to improve upon is delivering the right services in the right places at the right time, when it is their hour of need.

My efforts are devoted to keeping the discussion front and center, advocating properly-funded services, looking after their interests, and solving problems veterans should not have to confront.

Receiving recognition of effort is always appreciated. But it is the opportunity to do meaningful things to assist those who serve, and to redeem their sacrifices, that is truly rewarding.

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Contact: Jennifer Wilson
(570) 675-3931

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