Milford, DE – On Wednesday, August 31 Governor Markell joined The Spirit of Liberty Foundation and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) in honoring wounded warrior, fallen heroes and their families at the Delaware Veterans Home in Milford. Governor Markell expressed his gratitude to those who have served in the United States of America Armed Forces and affirmed his support for the Crossing of America campaign.
The Crossing of America campaign, presented by TAPS and The Spirit of Liberty Foundation, began on May 27 of this year from the deck of the USS Midway in San Diego California. Two Official Spirit of Liberty Jeeps are being driven by patriotic Americans across the country including actors, athletes, Governors, POWs and Medal of Honor recipients to their final destination on Thursday, September 8 on the USS Intrepid in New York City. The trip across the nation will commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11th. The jeeps will travel over 18,000 miles covering 43 states while promoting the consciousness of the American soldier.
Governor Markell had a chance to escort Delaware Veterans in one of the Liberty Jeeps around the Delaware Veterans Home on Wednesday. “We are so grateful to all of you,” stated Governor Markell in his opening remarks. “We all are only able to be here today and celebrate our freedom because of you.”
Major General Frank Vavala spoke to the audience at the Delaware Veterans Home before the Governor and stressed the importance of the ten year anniversary of September 11th and the remembrance of the individuals who fought for this country. “We are losing our children to MTV and reality television,” commented Major General Vavala. “We need to remind them of those who sacrificed themselves defending this county. These individuals are heroes, not because they fell but because they stood up against enemies of this nation.” Major General Frank Vavala became Adjutant General in 1999 and is responsible for the mission readiness of all Delaware National Guard units for both federal and state missions.
The Commission on Veteran Affairs was also present during the ceremony. The Commission consists of 15 members, appointed by the Governor, that assist veterans in accessing information to federal benefits and entitlements. Governor Markell applauded these men and women and assured the veterans who were present that this commission is an “incredible advocate” for all veterans.
At the end of their cross-country tour, the two Spirit of Liberty Jeeps will be auctioned off on the deck of the USS Intrepid in New York during the closing ceremonies. Each driver from across the nation will provide a video of support for the Crossing of America campaign and sign an Official Log Book. Individuals can bid online to own either of the two jeeps at http://crossingofamerica.org/how-you-can-help/bid-on-a-spirit-of-liberty-jeep/ with 100% of the proceeds from the auction being distributed to The Spirit of Liberty Foundation and TAPS. To donate to the campaign visit www.crossingofamerica.org, call 1-855-2TROOPS or Text TROOPS to 85944.