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Liberty hosts National Guard Christmas party

December 13, 2008 : Sarah Funderburke

Liberty University hosted a National Guard holiday program on Saturday, Dec. 13.

The First Battalion 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team held its holiday program, which consisted of a dinner and an information fair, in the Liberty Schilling Center and Reber-Thomas Dinning Hall.

During the program, National Guard members and their families were educated on the medical, counseling and other benefit services the government provides to veterans. Veteran benefits come from a variety of sources, including the Department of Veteran Services, the Chaplain’s Office, TRICARE and the Association of the United States Army. Soldiers at the event also received the flu mist, courtesy of the Army.

Most soldiers in this unit have been deployed overseas at some point in the past three years.

“You are among only the 1 percent of the entire United States population that is willing to do this,” Lt. Col. (Ret) Carl Matney said at the ceremony. “That’s important.”

Battalion Commander Maj. Scott Smith said that while overseas the men in this unit set the standard for other members of the National Guard. National Guard companies from Lynchburg, Lexington, Radford, Christiansburg, Martinsville and other southwest Virginia areas make up this combat team.

“I just want to applaud you all and thank you for your service for the past three years,” Smith said.

After the resource information fair the group ate a buffet dinner and enjoyed a visit from Santa Clause and one of his elves.