State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed the heroic men and women of the 10th Mountain Division, including its Commanding General, Major General Brian Mennes, to the State Capitol Wednesday for “10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day.”
This is the ninth year Senator Ritchie has hosted the event, which serves to honor the brave soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division and highlights the Division’s contributions to our national security, as well as the many ways in which the installation benefits our regional and state economies.
“Each year I am both honored and humbled to welcome 10th Mountain Division soldiers from Fort Drum to the Capitol,” said Senator Ritchie. “I would like to thank Major General Mennes, and his troops, for bringing us a bit of Fort Drum and of course, for the selfless work they do day in and day out to protect our freedom.”
As part of “10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day,” Major General Brian Mennes delivered an address in the Senate Chamber. During his speech, Major General Mennes discussed the history of the 10th Mountain Division in New York, the Division’s current assignments and the importance New York State’s efforts to strengthen the installation.
“For nine years now, “10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day” has given us the opportunity to showcase for New York’s leadership the important work we do—as well as allowed us to express our thanks for the way New Yorkers support their troops,” said Major General Mennes. “Thank you to Senator Ritchie for her work on this annual event. We are proud to be part of this tradition, and to be New York’s Division.”
In addition to General Mennes’ address, the Fort Drum Color Guard opened the day’s Senate session and Division Chaplin Lieutenant Colonel James Foster delivered the invocation.
Throughout the day, troops hosted various displays and held equipment demonstrations in the Legislative Office Building—all meant to help educate lawmakers and visitors on the Division’s mission. Representatives of North Country community groups that work with Fort Drum also shared information on the work they do for our military members and their families.
Among the troops taking part in Wednesday’s events were a number from New York State, including Captain Trevor Trovato of Fulton.
The 10th Mountain Division has long been the most deployed Army division in the nation. Fort Drum is home to more than 30,000 soldiers and family members and is directly and indirectly responsible for more than 26,000 jobs. According to the most recent economic impact study, it is estimated that Fort Drum pumps nearly $2 billion into the North Country economy.