Friday, December 21, 2007


Gov. Bill Ritter, First Lady Jeannie Ritter and Colorado National
Guard Commander H. Michael Edwards have recorded and sent special
holiday video greetings to Colorado Guard troops deployed to the
Middle East and to their families here at home.

"During this holiday season, Colorado is grateful for the unwavering
commitment of you and your families, our citizen-soldiers," Gov.
Ritter in his message. "The call to defend our way of life is not for
the faint of heart. As your commander, I promise to remain committed
to you and your family as you fight this global war on terror."

The Governor and First Lady, whose father is a retired Navy captain,
extended a special thank you to the families, telling them, "You hold
an honored place in our hearts."

Adjutant General Edwards saluted the troops in his holiday greeting,
reminding them, "You are truly patriots and great Americans. We look
forward to your safe return."

More than 600 Colorado Air and Army National Guard troops are
currently deployed to the Middle East, more than at any other time in
recent Colorado history. Some 200 members of the 140th Air National
Guard Wing out of Buckley Air Force Base were deployed on Dec. 4 and
will be spending the holidays overseas.

Gov. Ritter personally visited many National Guard, active-duty and
reserve personnel from Colorado last week during a Pentagon-sponsored
visit to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.