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August 13, 2008 (rt23 news) - TRENTON - Governor Jon S. Corzine today departed from McGuire Air Force Base to Fort Bliss, located outside El Paso Texas, to see off the 3,000 New Jersey National Guard members of the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) as they embark on a 12-month tour of duty in Iraq.

The governor will observe the final phases of the troop mobilization and join troops for several meals and entertainment events as they prepare for departure. Several CEO’s of New Jersey companies with employees deploying as National Guard members will attend with the Governor.

"I believe New Jersey and its courageous families have shouldered the burden of these wars, and now, with this deployment, we have gone above and beyond the call of duty," Governor Corzine said. "The State of New Jersey fully supports its deployed soldiers and their families."

"Additionally, our business community deserve thanks for sending representatives to Fort Bliss to see off our troops and pledging to ensure that their jobs will be waiting for them upon their return," Governor Corzine continued.

The 50 IBCT trains, mobilizes and deploys as directed by the Secretary of Defense to conduct combat operations within a Joint Task Force Area of Responsibility in order to support coalition or national objectives. As directed, the Brigade will provide military support to civil authorities as directed and conduct operations in support of Homeland Security.

Governor Jon S. Corzine today addressed New Jersey National Guard members of the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) at Fort Bliss outside El Paso, Texas before heading back to New Jersey. Prior to his departure, he offered the following statement.

"First of all, the thing that did not surprise me was the high morale and great attitude of all these men and women. There are a lot of fired up people doing the job of serving this country. I am proud of them.

“What did surprise me was how many of these folks are on their second and third tours. So many people have been asked to do so much, and a very limited group has taken on a very heavy burden. I think we have a responsibility, particularly in New Jersey, to support these families and get these soldiers back to work.

"There are not a lot of words that can match up with the service and commitment that these young men and women demonstrate every single day. These men and women are serving our country and protecting our freedoms and I thank them.

“We are honored by their service; and we have a moral obligation to stand up and make sure that their families are secure, that we provide the kind of support for what their mission is. And when they come home they have every opportunity to make sure that their economic lives are everything that they should be. We pledge that here today. I thank the Chamber of Commerce, all the employers, and all the legislators who have renewed that commitment here today. God bless you all.”

Posted by: Staff
August 13, 2008


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