By U.S. ArmyNovember 14, 2011
Veterans from American conflicts dating back to World War II gathered Nov. 11 at the Lord Community Center on Natick Soldier Systems Center for the annual Town of Natick Veterans Appreciation Dinner.
Brigadier General John J. McGuiness, NSSC senior commander, welcomed the veterans and their families to the event. He told the veterans that they had all helped write American history.
"Whether you were in Vietnam, Korea, World War II, you all had input," McGuiness said. "You're part of that legacy. We have brand-new Soldiers who will write their own chapters. That legacy that you are about to begin is formed on the shoulders of the folks who are out here today."
As McGuiness pointed out, however, veterans couldn't do it alone.
"It's a sacrifice not only for the people that wear the uniform, but their families," McGuiness said. "We do honor the veterans, but we cannot forget the sacrifices and what our spouses and our families do for the veterans."
McGuiness also had words of praise for the Town of Natick as a whole.
"You all truly have something special here," McGuiness said. "It's Americana, and it's in very few other cities. You just all need to be so proud of what you have. It takes a community to sustain that."
Massachusetts State Senator Richard Ross thanked the veterans for their service and NSSC for its innovative work for service members.
"Many of the products developed here are the things that keep our people safe from an ever-inventive enemy who is willing to use all vehicles by which to harm us," Ross said. "I thank you for adjusting to those issues and to those threats and for keeping us all safe."
Massachusetts State Representative David Linsky of Natick also offered words of praise for the town and NSSC.
"This is another example of why Natick is the greatest town in the greatest state in the greatest country in the history of the world," Linsky said. "This is just one more thing about why I love this town.
"Thank you also to the men and women who are stationed here, either in uniform or civilians who work here, because you're a very important and very vital part of this very special community."
Charlie Hughes, chairman of the Natick Board of Selectmen, said the town has always held its veterans in "very high esteem, and I assure you we will continue to do that as we go forward. You will always be special to us in this town."
NSSC also was well represented at Veterans Day events that morning in the towns of Natick and Wayland. Command Sergeant Major Brian Warren spoke at Natick, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Doe at the Wayland ceremony.
Doe recalled the help he and his family received from Wayland and other communities around NSSC when their house burned down immediately after he returned home from Afghanistan in July 2010.
"The response was tremendous," Doe said. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the folks in this community and the rest of the MetroWest area. The outpouring of help to my family was indescribable."
Warren told the Natick townspeople that he was honored to be around so many American heroes. Then he offered a little advice.
"Take a moment, shake a veteran's hand," said Warren, "and thank them for providing the freedom we enjoy today."