Today Guam will be one of the earliest in the nation to honor our current military service members and those who have served our nation on the annual observance of Veterans Day.
On Guam, many families have parents, brothers and sisters, children, cousins, uncles and aunts and extended family members who are serving overseas and in parts of the country in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.
We have generations of families whose service in our nation's military spanned wars that started and ended decades ago and the current U.S. military missions across the globe.
Our Guam National Guard alone has more than 200 soldiers deployed in the Sinai Region, in Egypt, performing missions to help keep peace and stability in the Middle East. They will be away from home for another half-year. We have one Guam Guard airman remaining in Southwest Asia and 30 Guam Guard soldiers and airmen deployed in Arizona supporting the Southwest Border Mission.
Here, right at home, the Guam National Guard is providing part of the security for the task force that has been mobilized to keep the road-mobile missile defense system on Andersen Air Force Base ready for any missile launches from adversaries.
At sea, the Coast Guard and Navy stand watch over our shores and in high seas in the Western Pacific including ensuring that no one nation keeps control over sea lanes where billions of dollars of cargo travel every year across the Pacific. We are the home port to several submarines, too, whose area of responsibility spans the vast Indo Pacific.
The Air Force has a continuous bomber presence on Guam as a deterrence for the just-in-case scenarios and the recurring flyovers in the Pacific and South China Sea – among other missions and purposes. We have several thousand service members stationed on Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam, many of them leaving families in the states while they're on Guam as part of their military service.
Service members also perform important roles in humanitarian missions with their capability to mobilize quickly in the aftermath of devastating storms, earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters.
We thank our active-duty military service members and veterans who have served the country.
“Thank you for your service,” is a common phrase we civilians say.
We can also go beyond those familiar words. We can also ask how they are doing and if there is anything we can do to help.
And we also owe our gratitude of the service members' spouses, partners, children and parents who all make some level of sacrifice in support of the service to our nation.
Thank you, veterans.