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Dear Bos'un, I couldn't get the musical video to work, so I removed it. If you can fix it, please use 450px width and 250px height. :)
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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pop Star: Guests at 128th NGAUS Conference

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- One of rock music's enduring icons will debut a National Guard musical tribute to more than 2,000 members of the force at the 128th NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition, which begins here tomorrow.

Pat Boone, who has sold more than 50 million records in his 52-year career, will sing For My Country: Ballad of the National Guard at the conclusion of a speech by his longtime friend, Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson, at 11:45 Monday.

"It's hard to imagine America's existence without our National Guard, in time of war or peace," Mr. Boone said. "It happens we're at war--with an enemy who is determined to destroy us and our way of life," he said. "We've got to close ranks and give our Guardsmen and women our tribute, support and gratitude. I hope this song--long overdueÑwill encourage that."

Mr. Boone plans to release the song in November. Sales proceeds will go to Paralyzed Veterans of America, an organization that assists veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction.

The song debut is but one highlight of the conference and exhibition that runs through Monday.

Runners will get a jump start on the conference with the 11th Annual 5K Fun Run at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. The conference opens with the call to order from Brig. Gen. Robert V. Taylor, NGAUS chairman, and then a welcome from Brig. Gen. Kenny C. Montoya, New Mexico adjutant general, beginning at noon.

Attendees will then get a taste of New Mexico with a local cultural celebration, followed by the colorful Roll Call of States Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief, National Guard Bureau, will highlight afternoon events with a speech at 3:45 p.m., followed by Air Force Gen. Ronald E. Keys, commander, Air Combat Command, at 4:15 p.m.

The day will end with the New Mexico GovernorÕs Reception at the Albuquerque Zoo beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday's events begin earlier with an 8 a.m. call to order, followed by various reports from other associations as well as awards presentations. Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey will then take the stage for a 9:30 a.m. speech.

Afternoon events are reserved for professional development and task force meetings. Evening festivities include hospitality night beginning at 6 p.m.

Monday events start very early with the Air and Army Guard separate sessions at 7:30 a.m.

Headlining the Air Separate Session is Lt. Gen. Craig McKinley, Air Guard director, Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander, Air Force Materiel Command, and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen P. Condon, Air Force Association chairman.

Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, Army Guard director, will headline the Army Separate Session, along with Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, commanding general, First U.S. Army, and Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief, U.S. Army Reserve.

Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff will address the Third Business Session at 10:45 a.m. followed by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson at 11:15 before Secretary Nicholson's speech on Monday.

The conference will then close with the States Dinner beginning at 7:30 p.m.

TSGLI for Guardsmen and Active Component Trooops Receiving Good Reviews
The Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) program, established in 2005 to help injured military personnel who found themselves financially strapped after their return to the states, is getting good marks.

Retroactive coverage applies to active-component personnel, Guardsmen and reservists who suffered traumatic injuries in the line of duty between Oct. 7, 2001, and Nov. 30, 2005.

Beginning Dec. 1, 2005, every service member who has Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance automatically began receiving TSGLI coverage according to Michael Dominguez, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

TSGLI coverage will pay a benefit of between $25,000 and $100,000, depending on the injury, according to information on the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site at www.va.gov. The VA is a co-administrator of the insurance program.

Within DoD, "a total of 2,261 retroactive claims have been approved as of Aug. 25, 2006," Dominguez reported, noting that 403 claims have been paid as of late August 2006.

Army Sgt. John Keith who lost his left leg and suffered other injuries in an explosion in Iraq, testified that the TSGLI payment helped him replenish his savings, pay off most of his debts and buy his wife a van.

Job Openings in Legislative Department

Deputy Director of Legislative Programs
Candidate will be responsible for assisting director in the daily operations and execution of legislative agenda. Duties will include lobbying, strategy development, conducting administrative duties, and assisting in staff management. Successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree in political science or government, 3-5 years of legislative experience and strong knowledge of the defense community.

Joint Programs Lobbyist
Candidate will be responsible for lobbying for Army and Air National Guard personnel and benefits issues on Capitol Hill. Duties include direct lobbying, strategic planning/implementation and other duties relevant to joint programs.

Successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree in political science or government, 3-5 years of legislative experience, strong knowledge of the defense community, advocacy and communication skills. Military experience a plus.

Interested candidates should send cover letter and resume to: NGAUS, Legislative Director, One Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, or e-mail richard.green@ngaus.org. Closing date for both positions is Sept. 22, 2006.

This Week in Guard History
Sept. 11, 2001: Terrorists fly hijacked airliners into both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C.

Within minutes of the first report of a hijacking out of Boston, Mass., and just six minutes after the scramble order was issued, F-15s from Massachusetts' 102nd Fighter Wing are airborne, but arrive too late to prevent either plane from striking the towers. In the meantime, another two planes are reported hijacked and on course to Washington, D.C. North Dakota Air Guard F-16s from the119th Fighter Wing, permanently assigned to Langley Air Force Base, Va., are scrambled to try to intercept the planes headed for D.C., one of which crashes into the Pentagon. The second crashes in a Pennsylvania field.

Throughout the day, and for months to come, Air Guard aircraft from all over he country, including Vermont (right), flew patrols over major American cities with shoot down orders to prevent further attacks.

In the wake of the strikes, Army Guard units responded across the nation on the ground. Within days, Guardsmen in every state and territory were guarding airports, bridges, and seaports as well as patrolling AmericaÕs northern and southern borders.

NGAUS History
Nearly 130 years ago, National Guard officers met in New York City and planned an October 1879 convention in to bring Guardsmen together to discuss the Guard's funding needsÑeffectively launching the National Guard Association.

As delegates, Guardsmen and guests descend upon Albuquerque for the 128th NGAUS General Conference, the goal of maintaining the nation's freedom and security through a strong National Guard remains the association's focus. As National Guard troops deploy around the world, the association's impact has never been more vital.

Category: (Military) NGAUS Notes.
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