NATICK, Mass. (June 21, 2010) - Bon Jovi had a hit song a few years ago with "Who says you can't go home'" At the Natick Soldier Systems Center birthday celebration for the U.S. Army, retiring Lt. Gen. David Valcourt came home to Massachusetts to speak to the Soldiers and civilians here.

Valcourt, who until May 7 served as the Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, was the guest speaker for the NSSC Army Birthday celebration.

The general is a native of Chicopee Falls, Mass., and after 37 years of service to our nation is retiring on June 30.

As a special part of the celebration, 53 Future Soldiers from the Boston Recruiting Company re-affirmed their commitment to the Army as Lt. Gen. Valcourt administered the Oath of Enlistment.

"These young men and women are the future of our Army," said Valcourt. "They volunteered to serve during a time where we are fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and it doesn't look like it is going to end soon."

When a Soldier enlists, normally it is a quiet ceremony in the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) with a few Future Soldiers and the officer administering the Oath. On Friday, some of the parents were able to witness their sons and daughters taking the Oath from a general.

"Today was a great day for our folks at Natick," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Allen, the USAG-Natick Command Sergeant Major. "The words from LTG Valcourt hit home to both our work force and the Future Soldiers and we were happy to share the day with the future of our Army, those 53 young men and women who swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

The general closed his remarks with a thought for all in attendance.

"Poor is the Nation that has no heroes. Indefensible is the nation who has heroes and doesn't honor them," said Valcourt. "Sitting right here in front of you are 53 heroes and I thank you for becoming a part of our Army."