As Veterans Day approaches, U.S. Transportation Command leaders were in the local community yesterday (Nov. 8), speaking about both honoring veterans and supporting the service member of the future.
Navy Rear Adm. William A. “Andy” Brown, director, Strategy, Policy, Programs and Logistics directorate, USTRANSCOM, spoke at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis as part of the “Celebrate Veterans Day” luncheon co-hosted by the MAC and Rotary Club of St. Louis.
In his remarks, Brown spoke to the importance of Veterans Day, particularly our duty as a nation to remember the sacrifices of more than 48 million Americans who have answered the call to serve in our Armed Forces. He went on to say that it is equally important that we work together as a nation to solve issues affecting our veterans.
“Homelessness and unemployment are two issues that are currently plaguing our veterans. With one-third of the adult homeless population being veterans and a 12 percent unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans, you can clearly see that these are serious issues we must confront,” said Brown. “I’m confident though that we can use our collective wisdom to solve these problems and get veterans back on their feet.”
Before ending his remarks with a reading of the fourth stanza of the Star Spangled Banner, Brown thanked the metropolitan St. Louis community for their commitment to the military. “Even though I am new to the St. Louis area, I have already experienced the support this community provides to service members and their families. With all the military-specific support organizations and events, it is no wonder that over 250,000 veterans have chosen to call this area home.”
Brown also spoke to a room full of students, faculty, staff and business leaders as part of Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business Dean’s Breakfast series. While speaking to the audience, Brown shared his insights on the changing landscape of military logistics and stressed that future logisticians must continue to innovate to meet the challenges of the coming years.
“We must teach our future logisticians to not only innovate, but ensure that there are multiple options on the table. In a rapidly changing environment, the future will require that we have many options to pursue when executing large-scale missions like the ones we find ourselves in today.”
Army Maj. Gen. Gregory Couch, chief of staff, USTRANSCOM, joined civic leaders in midtown St. Louis to dedicate a new Salvation Army veteran’s resident facility. The building, on which construction began a year ago, is set to house homeless veterans and offer low-rent, one bedroom apartments to its tenants.
Standing inside the newly completed facility, Couch and other leaders praised the Salvation Army and St. Louis community for making this housing facility a reality and underscored the importance of supporting veterans.
“As a military member, I appreciate the outstanding support we receive in the metro St. Louis area for our heroes who have faithfully served our country,” said Couch. “Projects like this one are a testament to the community’s commitment to our veterans and I couldn’t be more excited to see the positive results this facility will have.”
The USTRANSCOM Color Guard presented the colors in the opening ceremony/ribbon cutting.
Army Lt. Gen. Kathy Gainey, deputy commander, USTRANSCOM, spoke before the Belleville Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. In addition to speaking to the significance of Veterans Day and thanking the women for being part of a community of support for local military families, Gainey made an appeal for members’ help in encouraging young men and women to consider military service.
She noted that in addition to military service being part of an individual’s support for freedom, it provides unparalleled experiences.
“We need to find the best and the brightest, who will serve and uphold those values we hold dear to our hearts,” said Gainey. “And when they are finished they will contribute as better citizens, workers, legislators and guides for your communities. Even in one tour, individuals come to understand selfless service, dedication, professionalism, operating as part of a team, building teams, making hard decisions with few resources, being innovative and creative and executing a leader’s intent.”
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