Belvoir, Mount Vernon-Lee sign Covenant
November 19, 2009
By Paul Bello
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- Local officials, Soldiers and members of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce united on Friday morning to honor our nation's heroes and sign the Army Community Covenant - a declaration stating the longstanding partnership between the U.S. Army and surrounding community.
Congressman Jim Moran was one of many guests invited to an early morning breakfast at the Officers' Club and commended the Army for work related to Base Realignment and Closure.
With increased traffic on the minds of many residents, Moran applauded efforts on keeping the public informed and included in discussions.
"I take comfort knowing that we're blessed to have the leadership we have here at Fort Belvoir. At this installation, everyone counts and the Soldiers are proud to serve," Moran said. "It's one of the reasons why I'm so proud to be a part of this community."
Moran also spoke of the hardships people face across the country as a result of the recent recession. Unemployment is at the highest level in years and early indications show that number increasing in 2010, he said.
At the same time, however, Moran noted that northern Virginia has the strongest economy of any region in the U.S. Aided by the new, state-of-the-art hospital currently under construction on post, and Moran believes it's another example of how vibrant the area has become.
"While so many people are desperate for jobs, our area is growing and will continue to grow. There will be many more opportunities available," Moran said. "With success come challenges, but they will not be tackled alone. We're all in this together and I believe we're very fortunate to be living in such a strong and supportive community."
Supervisor Gerald Hyland, of the Mount Vernon District, agreed that leadership at Belvoir has been very receptive to local residents' needs. He said he was also looking forward to continuing his partnership with the Army in the years ahead.
Before signing the Covenant, Installation Commander Col. Jerry Blixt thanked everyone with the chamber and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for their work and support of the installation.
Blixt said what's most pleasing is being part of a community that cares deeply for its Soldiers.
"Belvoir is part of an even bigger and greater community," he said. "As a Soldier, it's a tremendous feeling. I'm honored to serve and proud to be commander."
Installation Command Sgt. Maj. Gabriel Berhane agreed and told the audience, "You wrap your arms around us and make us feel at home. You can't ask for more than that."