NATICK, Mass. (Nov. 12, 2013) -- Participants with ties to the Natick Soldier Systems Center were involved in three Veterans Day celebrations Nov. 11 in Natick and Wayland.

United States Army Garrison-Natick Commander Lt. Col. Brian Greata spoke at the Natick Fire Department to cap off the day, which began with former USAG-Natick Chief of Master Planning Dave Sanborn, an Army Reserve command sergeant major, speaking after Natick's parade. The Color Guard opened and closed the Wayland celebration.

"It is an honor to be here tonight, surrounded by heroes," said Greata at the Fire Department. "Each and every one of you who wore our nation's uniform is a hero, and I thank you for your service."

Greata went on to add that he was honored to serve as USAG-Natick commander and as a member of the community.

"We truly look at our relationship with the Town of Natick and its citizens as a partnership," Greata said.

Greata also extended a hearty thanks to Paul Carew, director of Veterans Services for Natick.

"Here in Natick, you have a special group of people looking out for veterans and active military and their interests," Greata said. "Paul Carew works hard every day … on behalf of the veterans of Natick. He makes sure that your veterans get all the benefits that they deserve."

Greata also thanked the Natick Veterans Service Council for making a donation so the Soldiers at NSSC have reliable transportation to explore town.

Greata then transitioned into the importance of Veterans Day.

"Ninety-five years ago today, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Armistice was signed to end the war to end all wars … World War I," Greata said.

Since that agreement was signed, our brave men and women have fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Desert Storm, Kosovo, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"Our nation's young men and women have answered the call of our nation every time they have been asked to and will continue to do so," Greata said.

Some may not get an opportunity to think about what Veterans Day means to them. Greata said he had a chance to reminisce about his time in the Army.

"When I was a younger Soldier, I didn't really have time to reflect and think about (it)," Greata said. "I was too busy doing my job and trying not to mess it up, because the worst thing that I could do was let my teammates down. When you get more senior in age, rank and position, you have the perspective to realize how special it is to be a veteran."

In closing, Greata said, "I ask you to keep our Armed Forces serving in harm's way and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Army Strong, beat Navy!"

At Natick's Veterans Day parade and celebration that morning, Sanborn, who recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan as command sergeant major of USAG-Bagram, spoke.

"The support you've all shown for our nation's military and the veterans is strongly evident today," Sanborn told attendees. "I'm truly honored to be standing here amongst you all today."

Sanborn asked the audience to remember that one is a veteran for life, that the military is committed to veterans' lifelong success, and that service members can't do it alone.

"Supporting our service members and military veterans requires a team approach by our military, other government agencies and the local community," Sanborn said. "I daresay Natick is on top of that."

Sanborn urged a continuation of that support.

"Our veterans and families have given so much," Sanborn said. "It is our sacred duty to maintain the trust and faith and remind them they will always remain the strength of this nation."

Prior to Sanborn's speech, State Rep. David Linsky of Natick took the podium and said that support for veterans should be year round.

"Celebrating means that veterans get adequate health care," Linsky said. "Veterans Day means that veterans get adequate housing. Veterans Day means that veterans should get adequate job training. And Veterans Day means that veterans should get adequate educational benefits.

"That's the way that we as a community need to celebrate Veterans Day, not just with parades and flags."

Carew served as emcee of the morning event.

"As I look out, I see veterans from the 'greatest generation' to the present generation of warriors, and those who served in between -- Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm," Carew said. "Again, thank you to all the veterans and their families for (your) sacrifices."

Page last updated Tue November 12th, 2013 at 19:34