Summer has arrived! This week for the Alliance highlighted the amount of activity that can be squeezed into seven days. For the last two weekends in a row, we hosted companies either looking at our area for locations or expansion opportunities. Along with that, we made some very important friends that could help each and every one of your businesses.
Saturday was the Dinner on the Bridge celebration and dinner on Bennett's Mill Covered Bridge in Greenup County. The Alliance bought the last five tickets to be had for the evening and highlighted the longest covered bridge open to traffic in the United States and transportation marvel built in 1855. Sometimes it takes an outside set of eyes to point out how special our area truly is.
This week we were preparing to accompany Governor Bevin and Secretary of Economic Development Gill along with Kentucky Power President and Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard to Paris for the largest Aerospace gathering in the world. Our partners and we will be meeting with companies looking for expansion and sharing the news of the world's most modern aluminum facility being built in Greenup County. I hope everyone feels the momentum has changed for the region. We are trying to continue the growth and bring all parties to the table to build our case of why this is the area for growth in manufacturing for the next decade.
There is one other nugget I would like to share with you. It is probably not one that you think of on a daily basis. Did you know that 50% of the Armed Services are National Guard or Reserve? For the Army, it is over 60%. Wednesday I was invited to participate in the Kentucky ESGR BOSSLIFT. This stands for Employer Support of Guard and Reserves. This organization's sole job is to make a better connection between business and industries and the Guard and Reserve of the United States.
The Alliance represents the business community in the region. We were asked to spend one day with our National Guard and Reserve troops and see what they do and hear their stories. Amanda and I toured much of Kentucky in a Blackhawk Helicopter with other Chambers/Economic Development professionals and business leaders. We heard the stories of how our citizen soldiers balance work with family, and military service. Some of these soldiers had spent seven tours of duty in combat. Over the next few months, I want to ensure we are doing everything we can to support the troops and the business community that supports them.
I have attached a piece that was read to our group by Stephen D. Martin MAJ, AV United States Army. I hope you find it as moving as I did. This has been an incredible week to be at the helm of the Ashland Alliance. We will continue to work for you and your business to build a strong region for you and your family.
Happy 242nd Birthday United State Army!
THE U.S. ARMY is America's First national institution. Since its official birth on June 14, 1775 - more than a year before the Declaration of Independence - the U.S. Army has played a vital role in the growth and development of the American nation. Drawing on long-standing militia traditions, it won the new republic's independence in an eight-year struggle against Great Britain. At times, the Army provided the lone symbol of nationhood around which Patriots rallied.
As we gather together today to celebrate - it's fitting that we share this day with another observance across our nation; Flag Day.
Both observances, of course, recognize the anniversary of acts of the second Continental Congress: the creation of our Army, and the adoption of a national flag two years later, the Stars and Stripes.
Today, this force has transformed into the best trained, best led, and most experienced force in the world;
The Army colors have nearly 190 campaign streamers marking battles from the Revolutionary War to today's War on Terror.
And as we sit here today, close to 184,000 Soldiers alone are in more than
140 countries — continuing the fight for our freedom and protection.
This profession of arms requires a unique expertise that is entrusted to defend the Constitution of the United States and protect American people. It instills a Warrior Ethos, comprised of four fundamental elements:
- I will always place the mission first I will never accept defeat.
- I will never quit.
- I will never leave a fallen comrade.
This Army is ready today as it always has been - ready to answer the call.
I ask that you join me in celebrating this birthday today.
STEPHEN D. MARTIN
Director of Public Affairs