* Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the selfless service of the Virginia National Guard, which is now celebrating 400 years of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia and our nation.
* With its roots dating back to the Jamestown Colony in the early 1600s, the Virginia Guard has established itself as one of the oldest institutions of our nation's armed forces. From protecting the colonies during the earliest days of the Commonwealth to its role in the Revolutionary War, the Virginia Guard was an essential force in the inception of our great nation.
* For over four centuries, Virginia's guardsmen have come from all walks of life and volunteered to be ``a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.'' These men and women have gone into harm's way time and time again to preserve peace and ensure their fellow citizens of the Commonwealth are kept safe. Members of the Virginia Guard also have a proud history of public service to the nation at large, including five Virginia Guard officers who later went on to become U.S. Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and John Tyler.
* More recently, the brave men and women of the Virginia Guard have again selflessly answered the call to duty. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, over 14,000 Virginia soldiers have been deployed across the world to protect our country. The enormous sacrifice of these soldiers and their families is something for which we will forever be grateful for.
* Mr. Speaker, please join me in recognizing the sacrifice and service of all past and present Virginia Guardsmen as we celebrate 400 years of courage and bravery in protecting the Commonwealth of Virginia and our country.