By Maj. Gen. Michael Turley and Command Sgt. Maj. Spencer Nielsen
Utah National Guard
For the Soldiers, Airmen and Families of the Utah National Guard,
During this holiday season, we should reflect on our achievements this past year in the face of numerous challenges and rapid change. Not since World War II has the National Guard been called upon on such a large-scale, both at home and abroad. During this past year, approximately 700 service members from the Utah National Guard served in overseas contingency operations and over 1,500 service members responded to domestic emergency operations such as the earthquake, the COVI D-19 pandemic, civil unrest, wild land firefighting, windstorm debris and search and rescue operations. The remarkable response from the Utah National Guard during the year 2020 exemplifies our roles as citizen-Soldiers and Airmen who are "Always Ready, Always There."
To those who are currently serving at home and overseas this holiday season, we thank you for your unwavering commitment, dedication and service. To those families sacrificing time with their loved ones over this holiday season, we express our deepest gratitude for your continued love and support of your service member. We look forward to the time when you all will be reunited with your Soldier or Airman.
Although this holiday season will look and feel different from those in the past, something that has not changed is that we all can find much we can be grateful for. Despite the challenges and hardships of the past year, we must focus on the positive aspects of our lives and resolve to be optimistic about the future. With the approval of the COVI D-19 vaccines marking the beginning of the end of this challenging time in our history, we can start to imagine emerging from the isolation and separation this pandemic has caused, and can envision a return to a more normal holiday season next year. Until that time, find creative ways to stay connected with your family and friends while also keeping each other safe and healthy. Take time to be present with and really enjoy your loved ones, to re-energize your mind, body, and soul, and to be ready for the good times that lie ahead. Reach out to others in need, and connect them with Guard or local resources for support and assistance. Words cannot express how proud we are of each of you, our organization and of all that we accomplished during an unprecedented year. Because of your outstanding dedication to the Guard mission, the year 2020 will be known as the Year of the Guard and will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the success of our state and nation. We wish you and yours the happiest and healthiest holidays, and look forward to great things to come in 2021.
Michael J. Turley
The Adjutant General
Spencer D. Nielsen
Senior Enlisted Advisor