Seal of the Army National Guard

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This was a Letter to the Editor in the Rutland Herald as today folks lined the streets to wish the National Guard troops that have given so much of themselves to our state over the past month a fond and very grateful farewell as they head home. Thank you National Guard men and women!

Thanks to fellow blogger Kelly at thisvtlife.wordpress.com for pointing it out.

Rutland Herald
Letter to the Editor: 

Thank you Vermont:

I am a Virginia National Guard soldier. I have been in Vermont for three weeks. I have driven hundreds of miles through your state and seen first-hand the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene.First off, my condolences go out to all those affected by the storm. But what affected me most were the people. From the first day and… the first plate of brownies, the local community has been so supportive, thankful and generous that we were all in awe. 

We are accustomed to “Southern hospitality,” but the people of Vermont have taken it to a new level. Everywhere we go the locals stop and thank us, but I really just want to thank you.

This gratitude goes out to the hundreds of thumbs-up we have received, and especially the little girl who gave me that great smile at a stoplight and a little boy that hugged one of our guys and said, “Thank you, Army man.”

To the people at the Spartan Arena that graciously allowed us lodging and the servers at the Armed Forces Reserve Center that fed us morning and evening meals, we thank you. To Mark, Jen, Tim and the rest of the volunteers, we thank you. For all the plates of cookies, brownies and boxes of personal items — and those tasty Vermont apples — we thank you.

But most of all, thank you, Vermont, for showing how people can pull together in times of need. You were all so generous, gracious and hospitable. I can only hope that if this ever happens in Virginia, or anywhere else in this great country, the people would act the same way. When I leave here in a few days, I will take with me a piece of Vermont and know that Vermont will be just fine thanks to her people.

Sgt. STEVEN L. MOORE
157th Engineer Platoon
Virginia Army National Guard
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