Surrounded by representatives from the Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth, and McConnell military instillations, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a proclamation declaring today, February 24, as “Armed Forces Appreciation Day” during a ceremony in his office.

“We have Kansans in our state, across the country and around the world standing at the ready to defend our great country,” Gov. Brownback said.  “Armed Forces Appreciation Day is an opportunity for us to show our gratitude for their service and sacrifice – and the significant social and economic impact that the military has on our great state.”

Brownback continued, “It also gives us the opportunity to renew our dedication as a state to foster cooperation and support of the military in our state – The Kansas National Guard, The Kansas Army Reserves, the Kansas Marine Corps Reserves as well as the Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth and McConnell military installations.”

The Governor also signed an executive order establishing the Governor’s Military Council to assist him regarding military issues at the state and federal levels.  He pointed out military activities in our state provide thousands of jobs and more than $7 billion annually for our state’s economy.

“The Governor’s Military Council will play an important role in helping Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and me foster better relationships with military instillations in our state as well as to protect and grow them,” Brownback said.  “In our Road Map for Kansas, we talked about our need to focus on economic growth.  The Council also will help us grow defense-related industries – especially around Leavenworth, Wichita, Manhattan/Junction City, Salina and Kansas City.”

Brownback also renewed the state’s Army Community Covenant in support of those who serve our state and nation.

“We are renewing our Army Community Covenant today to renew our state’s commitment to both those serving in active or reserve duties as well as veterans in our state.  This covenant also celebrates our state’s partnership with the military – and our dedication to provide a quality of life for our soldiers, their families and the communities they live in,” Brownback said.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Adjutant General Lee Tafanell as well as Major General Vincent Brooks, Fort Riley; Brigadier General Scott Thoele, Fort Leavenworth; and Col. James Crowhurst, McConnell joined the Governor for the signings.  Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was on hand to certify the proclamation and executive order.