Texas Army National Guard Gets National Recognition for Reaching 2005 Goal with Service on Display in Response to Katrina and Rita

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The Texas Army National Guard received a pat on the back Thursday for reaching its 2005 recruitment goals, even as they continue to field hundreds of additional inquiries each week by people who want to know how they can help with the GuardÂ?s hurricane relief efforts.

The Texas Army National Guard received a pat on the back Thursday for reaching its 2005 recruitment goals, even as they continue to field hundreds of additional inquiries each week by people who want to know how they can help with the Guard's hurricane relief efforts.

National Guard Bureau Chief Lieutenant General Steve Blum visited Camp Mabry in Austin Thursday morning to address a group of officials convening to discuss the military response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

As the National Guard is currently receiving unprecedented visibility, people across Texas are doing locally what Lt. Gen. Blum described to one Austin television reporter is happening at a national level.

“The outpouring of response has been nothing short of exemplary,” Lt. Gen. Blum said. “I am extremely gratified by the men and women who are stepping forward.”

Texas Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ron McLaurin says they have received hundreds of additional inquiries since the beginning of September by people who want to know how they can help.

“Hurricanes Katrina and Rita emphasize the need for a strong and well-equipped National Guard,” Lt. Col. McLaurin said. “We look at ourselves as neighbors helping neighbors.”

The Texas Army National Guard assisted the Louisiana National Guard before being called back home to serve the people of Texas following Hurricane Rita.

The Texas Army National Guard is able to respond with an effective force that has made its end-strength mission for the fifth year in a row. Lt. Col. McLaurin announced Thursday that the Texas Army National Guard's end-strength number will be at 16,900 soldiers when fiscal year 2005 ends Friday September 30.

National Guard Bureau set the end-strength goal for Texas in 2005 at 16,876. “Texas made its mission this year and that is huge.” Lt. Gen. Blum said Thursday.

The Texas Army National Guard has approximately 190 recruiters in the state of Texas and prides itself on high ethical standards.

Texas Army National Guard recruiters will be available to the media to follow on Friday September 30 as they finish out their mission for fiscal year 2005. Please contact Kris Paulson at (512) 940-7238 or visit http://www.TXARNG.com for more information.

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