BLUFFDALE, Utah - The Utah National Guard honored its Commander in Chief, Governor Gary R. Herbert, Saturday during the 62nd Annual Governor’s Day Parade.
The event includes a “Pass and Review” ceremony, where the governor inspects each soldier and then each one walks by him for review as he salutes them on Tarbet Field at Camp Williams.
Before the parade of the 7,000 soldiers, there was a 19-volley salute and a flyover by three different Guard helicopters, a Blackhawk, an Apache, and a Lokota helicopter package.
“It was just awe inspiring,” said a wife of one of the soldiers, 1st Lt. James Ito. “We were amazed how many troops and how well presented they were.”
“It just reminds me that the governor cares and the general cares about their troops,” Ito added.
One of the oldest veterans there, retired army 1st Sgt. Rune Wallin, turned 90 years old Saturday
“I am proud of the Utah National Guard and the Air Force," Wallin said. "The Army has been good to me all these years."
Not only did he serve for 35 years and fight in the Korean War, but his wife of 63 years worked for the Guard for 20 years, and their son served 40 years.
“Our oldest son retired three years ago from the 211 Aviation,” Wall said.
After watching Governor Herbert inspect the troops and participate in the pass and review, Wallin had a birthday wish fulfilled as he got to meet the governor and share his pride.
“We support him very much so,” Wallin said.
“Our family is Guard full time, part time and all the time,” Mrs. Wallin added.
Major General Jefferson Burton also presented the governor with the Patriot’s Award, but the governor said the reward for him is seeing the support our community has for these troops, past and present.
“It feels good for me to see that we are prepared if something comes up,” Wallin said.
After the parade, there will be a Military Ball at 7:00 p.m. The ball is sponsored by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Utah and will be held at the Regional Training Institute on Camp Williams. Retired and currently serving members of any branch of the military, as well as the general public, are invited to the formal-dress gala event, which features music of the Utah Guard’s 23rd Army Band.
Admission is $10 per couple for current or former military personnel, and $20 per couple for all others. The event includes light refreshments, door prizes and a silent auction.