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NEWS | Dec. 5, 2011

Kentucky governor, first lady celebrate holidays with Guard members

By Lt. Col. Kirk Hilbrecht Kentucky National Guard

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear joined Adjutant General Edward Tonini and his wife, Carol, in a holiday visit Dec. 3 with the families of the Kentucky National Guard's 1204th Aviation Support Battalion in Independence, Ky,. and the Agribusiness Development Team3 in Frankfort, Ky.

"The folks over there couldn't do their jobs without these families giving them support," Beshear said.

The 1204th ASB is made up of approximately 325 Soldiers from Kentucky and another 275 from Alabama, Florida and Maryland. The troops are currently deployed to Iraq and Kuwait where they are performing aviation maintenance missions in support of Operation New Dawn.

After a morning visit in Independence, the governor and adjutant general flew to Frankfort to share time with families and Soldiers at their holiday banquet.

"We're thankful for all of the families and all the support they give our Troops," Beshear said.

Tonini echoes the sentiments of the governor.

"Our Soldiers and Airmen can't do their jobs without the support of our loved ones here at home," Tonini said to an audience here.

The luncheon in Frankfort honored the families of the Kentucky National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, as well as the families of the Kentucky Guard Agribusiness Development Team 3, currently serving in Afghanistan.

The visit here was not an ordinary event with just the people present interacting.

The banquet hall had a two-way video conference with the troops in Afghanistan.

A special event like this can boost morale.

"This kind of communication keeps everyone positive, especially during the holidays when it's harder with the distance and everything," said Kristine Mullaney, wife of the Army Col. Neil Mullaney, the ADT commander.