By Alex McVeighAugust 13, 2008
FORT MYER, Va. Aca,!" Arlington County, Va., and Fort Myer took a step in cementing their relationship Aug. 7 with the signing of the Community Covenant at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center in Arlington.
The covenant was signed during opening ceremonies of the Arlington County Fair, which also featured performances by The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" and The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
The covenant was signed by members of the Arlington County government, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, Military District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe Jr., Fort Myer Military Community Commander Col. Laura J. Richardson and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jefferson Varner III.
"Arlington and Fort Myer have had a century-old relationship, and this is an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the Soldiers, Families and civilians [of the Military District of Washington] to this community," said Geren. "There's no substitute for neighbors helping neighbors."
The festivities began with The Fife and Drum Corps playing several selections, which drew fairgoers to the stage. As they worked their way through a medley of reveille songs, concluding with their signature song "Yankee Doodle," the crowd had grown to over 400 people.
"This is very important for the entire community," said Walter Tejada, Arlington County Board chairman. "Arlington County only covers about 26 square miles, but it includes the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and Fort Myer. Being so close together, we want to be close partners with the military community."
Rowe said he saw the signing as an opportunity to return the support that Arlington County gives to the Military District of Washington.
"This is a special community. Its support of our Soldiers and their families is special and meaningful," said Rowe. "It's my privilege to ... reciprocate by representing the duty and commitment of our Soldiers to our nation and our community."
Army Families that were attending the event were invited to the stage for the signing of the covenant. Almost 50 Army Family members stood onstage while the document was signed. The relationship between Fort Myer and Arlington County is now part of the Army as a whole, something that will benefit both parties in the future.
"Our Soldiers and Families believe in what they do, they take pride in what they do, and I could not be more proud to be a Soldier in today's Army and to receive the tremendous support of Arlington County that we have today," said Richardson.