GASSAWAY – Braxton County legislators joined the West Virginia National Guard and about 300 veterans and family members Thursday in dedicating the much anticipated new addition to the Gassaway National Guard Armory and in honoring our nation’s veterans.
The ceremony at the armory followed the annual Veterans Day parade in Sutton.
“I was extremely honored to participate in marking this milestone, which is important not only to the invaluable work of the National Guard but to the surrounding community,” Delegate Brent Boggs said. “The improved facility will better serve the federal mission of unit training, while also better serving as a base of operations in state emergencies and as a community meeting facility.”
Senator Douglas Facemire said he was pleased with the large turnout.
“While we should take time to appreciate our veterans each and every day, it was certainly encouraging to see so many attending what turned out to be a truly enjoyable event,” Sen. Facemire said. “I am excited about the armory renovations and look forward to following its progress.”
Decorated Vietnam combat pilot and author Kenny Fields was the featured speaker for the Veterans Day celebration.
The $3.24 million addition – which expands the original 1960's era facility from a company-size armory to a battalion-size one to support the 151st Military Police Battalion Headquarters – was made possible through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
The state provided an additional $189,000 for enhancements to better support activities of the local area. In addition to being the location for Braxton County High School athletic events, the armory also hosts numerous civic events for the local community.
“This is a great example of our National Guard being an integral part of the community,” said Major General Allen E. Tackett, Adjutant General, West Virginia. “The use of this facility by both the West Virginia National Guard and the local populace is truly a win-win for the citizens of Braxton County.”
Lee Fisher, Braxton County American Legion Post 33, which hosted the event, said members are very appreciative of all veterans and active duty people that enlisted to serve. “We are especially appreciative of our strong affiliation with the WV National Guard and look forward to fostering the relationship between the WVNG and the community in future years.”