WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. -- Think about this, we have thousands of troops forward deployed in a combat zone, while at the same time, similar combat-experienced troops are providing food, fuel, medical, and more important, stability to New York City's disaster areas within a two hour drive of here.

No other military in the world can do this! And we have that capability today due in large part to the sacrifices of those who have served before us.

For the last century, we have celebrated our Veterans on November 11th. And since World War I, each Veterans Day seems to blend old Veterans with new. Just since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, almost three million American men and women have stepped up and answered their nation's call to duty and now they, too, line our streets on Veterans Day to also be remembered.

Although we thought we had fought the "war to end all wars," history has proven that we still needed those very few who would step up and serve our country and New York's Capital District has been no different. It too has answered and still answers the many calls to duty.

New York's Capital District is not a military community such as Watertown, N.Y. is to Fort Drum or Lawton, Okla. is to Fort Sill, but the Albany area is a community rich in military service.

Dan McCoy, the Albany County Executive, said after the City of Albany's Veterans Day parade that there are more than 18,000 Veterans in the Albany area.

New York's Capital District is also home to New York's Division of Military and Naval Affairs where the State Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Patrick Murphy, provides command and control of New York's military forces. More than 7,000 New York troops have recently been deployed to the New York City area providing much needed disaster relief.

And tucked into the Albany area along the Hudson River is a local icon called the Watervliet Arsenal. The Watervliet Arsenal has since 1813 manufactured the products that have helped hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women in combat to come home safely.

As the only active Army post between West Point and Fort Drum, Watervliet helped excite the community to honor our Veterans by its participation in two parades this year. The first parade was for the Village of Menands on November 10, which was the first Veterans Day Parade for this community, and the Arsenal followed up leading the City of Albany Veterans Day Parade in Division 1 on November 12.

Yes, a position of honor. But it was our honor to be in the company of those who have served on the beaches of Normandy and in the mountains of Kandahar.

Page last updated Thu November 15th, 2012 at 00:00