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Legislature holds military appreciation day

On Tuesday the Alabama Legislature held a joint session in House chambers to honor America's military and salute active-duty military members, the reserves, veterans, and their families.

"It was a privilege to honor Alabama's men and women in uniform during a joint session of the Alabama Legislature," said Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) on the social media platform X. "Those who answered the call to serve our country represent the very best of us. Without them, there is no American dream."

"The courageous men and women who serve in our military sacrifice so much to ensure our freedoms, safety, and prosperity," said Senate President Pro Tem. Greg Reed (R-Jasper) on X. "They stand ready to answer the call whenever that may be, and it was a privilege to honor them today at Military Appreciation Day in the Statehouse."

The Lieutenant Governor Chairs the Alabama Military Stability Commission. Formed in 2011 by a resolution of the Alabama Legislature and signed by the Governor. The Commission is tasked with protecting and promoting the federal military presence in Alabama, which has a significant economic impact.

"Among my most important duties as Lieutenant Governor is serving the needs of active military members and veterans," said Lt. Gov. Ainsworth on X. "The legislature had the opportunity today to show our appreciation of active military members, veterans, and their families for their sacrifice and dedication."

Among the dignitaries on hand for the event was U.S. Air Force Lt. General Air Force Heath Collins - the Director of the Missile Defense Agency, which is headquartered in Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal.

"I am humbled and honored by our mission to provide the layered missile defenses that protect our United States," said Gen. Collins. "The Von Braun complex on Redstone Arsenal is the hub of missile defense agency operations, our largest of four major MDA locations we have around the nation. It is the center of gravity for a critical mission."

Colonel Alan Richardson is the commander of Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.

"We are in the fight for you every day and we are very proud that you are in the fight for us," said Col. Collins.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey recently appointed Gen. Gen. David Pritchett as the head of the Alabama National Guard.

Gen. Pritchett said that in today's recruiting environment it is very difficult for the armed forces to meet its recruitment goals; but that the Alabama National Guard has met and exceeded its goal last year by 500.

The Legislature has passed a number of pieces of legislation over the past seven years recommended by the Military Stability Commission to make Alabama more friendly to active-duty military families and to strengthen the state's position in the next phase of base realignments and closures.

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