Guard celebrates birthday, adds app for members

Guard celebrates birthday, adds app for members
Nashville – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Major General Terry “Max” Haston made a modern day announcement while celebrating a historic milestone Tuesday.  The National Guard is the country’s oldest military organization celebrating 375 years of service Tuesday.  
“Milestones like this one are a great reminder of the heroic service and sacrifice of soldiers past and present,” Haslam said.
“It is a pleasure to pay tribute to those soldiers and the National Guard for cultivating a long legacy of volunteerism in our country.”
“The Guard’s birthday is a milestone in the history of the nation,” said Maj. Gen. Terry “Max” Haston, Tennessee’s Adjutant General.
“It is the oldest and one of the proudest military institutions and its members and service need to be honored.  This is a critical time for the National Guard as we address possible budget constraints and the very real possibility of gaining a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  The Guard is more vital than ever in protecting our freedoms both here at home and abroad.”
In keeping with the militias of 375 years ago, today’s National Guard has become essential to national defense.  More than 21,000 Tennessee Army and Air National Guardsmen have been deployed overseas in support of the War on Terror. Twenty-two of those brave men and women have given their lives while serving in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.  
The National Guard motto remains “Always Ready, Always There.”
In the spirit of that motto, the Tennessee National Guard has joined forces with the Jason Foundation and E4 Health, LLC to create “Guard Your Buddy” smart phone application to serve soldiers struggling with thoughts of suicide.
“Guard Your Buddy” app will provide anytime, anywhere access to critical life resources, on-demand counseling, and on-call suicide prevention.
“Soldiers serving in our war against terror have faced long deployments away from their families while enduring tragic combat events,” Haslam said.  “It is important to find ways to help today’s troops and the ‘Guard Your Buddy’ app will give them access to round the clock resources.”
“We hope soldiers will download this smart phone application and pass it on to their fellow troops to ensure they have someone to talk to in times of trouble,” General Haston said.  
“It is difficult to predict if or when a member of our guard family will face suicidal thoughts, but we want them to be able to get help if they need it.”
The “Guard Your Buddy” program provides immediate access to live counselors to assist in whatever problem the caller is facing. The smart phone app is downloadable at www.guardyourbuddy.com.
For more on the history of the National Guard visit www.tnmilitary.org.

WCP 12.15.11

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