Governor and First Lady join commanding generals of Kentucky troops to celebrate holidays with Families

Family members of deployed Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen gather for lunch and hear from their loved ones via video teleconferencing at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base, Louisville, KY, 4 Dec.

All photos taken by 123rd AW Wing Public Affairs.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Governor Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear joined Adjutant General Edward W. Tonini and his wife, Carol, for holiday luncheons with Families of the deployed Soldiers and Airmen from the Kentucky National Guard today.

“These Families are so strong,” said  Tonini. “I take great pride in seeing them during the holidays.  It’s no secret that they make as much of a sacrifice for their country as their Soldiers and Airmen overseas.”

State Command Sgt. Major Greg Armstrong and State Command Warrant Officer Delynn Gibson from the Kentucky National Guard visited Family members of the 2123rd Transportation Company in Richmond who currently have 168 Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Chris Eden, a Purple Heart Medal recipient, was also in attendance.

“Sergeant Eden truly represents our Soldiers at their best,” said Armstrong. “His loyalty to his country and his selflessness is an example to us all. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to shake Chris’ hand.”

Maj. Gen. Francis Wiercinski presents Gov. Beshear the Honorary Screaming Eagle award as Maj. Gen. John Campbell, Commander of the 101st Airborne Division watches the presentation via a video teleconference from Afghanistan.

While visiting Family members in Louisville, Beshear received an Honorary Screaming Eagle award from Maj. Gen. John Campbell, commander of the 101st Airborne Division.  Campbell joined Beshear through a video teleconference from Afghanistan. Maj. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, senior commander for the 101st, Campbell’s wife, Ann, and T.C. Freeman, civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army for Kentucky assisted in the
presentation.

The Families in Louisville represented Kentucky Guard members currently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 123rd Airlift Wing, with over 160 Airmen; the Agricultural Development Team II with 70 Soldiers and Airmen; and the 3rd Detachment 20th Special Forces Group, with 28 Soldiers deployed, are all stationed in various locations throughout Afghanistan.

.The Kentucky National Guard currently has more than 450 Soldiers and Airmen deployed worldwide. Nearly 14,000 Kentucky Guardsmen have been mobilized for the War on Terror since 2001.

Gov. Beshear visits with Family members of deployed Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen while having lunch at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base, Louisville, KY.

Gov. Beshear visits with Family members of deployed Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen while having lunch at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base, Louisville, KY.



Santa Claus visits with Family members of deployed Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen while having lunch at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base, Louisville, KY.

Family members video teleconference with their deployed Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen while at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base, Louisville, KY.

Gov. Beshear shares holiday cheer with the child of a deployed Kentucky Air National Guard Airman while having lunch at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base, Louisville, KY.

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