The New York Senate today welcomed and recognized the brave soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, including the new Commanding General, Major General Walter Piatt, for the annual 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day.
Hosted for the sixth consecutive year by Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton), 10th Mountain and Fort Drum Day is a day that highlights the contributions made by the men and women of the North Country’s military installation to the region and state. Interactive displays were placed throughout the Capitol showcasing the 10th Mountain Division, as well as community organizations that play a vital role in the relationship between the community and Fort Drum.
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport) said, “It is a great honor to host officials from Fort Drum and the distinguished 10th Mountain Division. New York is certainly a better place for having the privilege to host its brave servicemen, servicewomen, and their families. Senator Ritchie has been a tireless advocate for Fort Drum’s civilian and military communities and I applaud her efforts for once again organizing this annual day of recognition.”
Senator Ritchie, said, “When our nation faces a crisis, it turns to the Army, and the Army turns to the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum. I’m so humbled to be able to host these brave men and women of the 10th Mountain Division and to show my colleagues how vital their work is. It’s so important to host Fort Drum Day so we never forget what these selfless heroes are all about.”
Capping the day’s events will be an address to the Senate by Major General Walter Piatt, who recently assumed command of the 10th Mountain Division. General Piatt will provide an update to the chamber on the 10th Mountain Division, the nation’s most deployed unit.
“Our Army saw the incredible training value in the foothills of the Adirondacks and the first Legislature to walk these halls understood their state’s value in supporting our nation’s defense,” said Major General Walter Piatt. “The synergy of this relationship, with its roots here more than a century ago, has ensured that Fort Drum is where our nation looks when she needs to hone the skills of its warfighters.”
Also part of the Tuesday event, the Fort Drum Color Guard will open the Senate session, along with the day’s invocation by Chaplain Fisher. In yet another effort to recognize the impact Fort Drum has on the state, the Senate will adopt a resolution (J761) that proclaims May 2, 2017, as Fort Drum Day.
In attendance for 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day are several troops from New York State, including Captain Ryan Marquette from Rome; Staff Sergeant John Flynn of Schenectady; Sergeant David Speer of Hilton; Specialist Holden Schoenig of Bellport; Specialist James Cox of Buffalo and Private First Class Alan Harris of Watertown.
In addition to honoring Fort Drum, the Senate will take up legislation (S860A) sponsored by Senator Ritchie to establish a special license plate to recognize the 10th Mountain Division and their service to our country.