Westminster's Department of Planning, Zoning and Development Director Thomas Beyard departed for a 400-day rotation with the Maryland Army National Guard late last summer.
Beyard joined the Guard in 1997 after years with the Army Reserve. He has worked for the city of Westminster for close to 24 years.
Until his return, his position is being filled by interim Director Steve Horn.
Beyard sends occasional correspondence to Patch and we will post his letters and photos as we receive them.
Hello, we are now in our last two weeks until we return back to the USA. No, it doesn’t mean that I will be in Westminster in two weeks, but it means that we will reach US soil and then begin the demobilization process. It has been a long year of deployment and now it is almost over. I hope to be in Westminster before the end of August.
As we get ready to come home, we are also completing the final close-out items that are so important to Soldiers. We are working to complete evaluations and to finalize the service awards for our 2,000+ Soldiers. It is a lot of work to do, as each is different and all take time and attention to make sure they are correct. Additionally, we are working to move our equipment to the port so that it can be sent back on a ship. The passenger movements, really more than one, as the last things we will do.
Our Transfer of Authority ceremony is set for Friday, August 10, 2012. We will hand-off our mission to the 35th CAB and then prepare to depart Kuwait. Our replacements have been steadily arriving over the past few weeks and they will continue to do so for the next week or so. We are working with our replacements so as best possible to set them up for success.
We have our unit awards ceremony on August 2, 2012. Each Soldier due a service award will receive the award on that day. It is always a festive occasion, as Soldiers are recognized for their contributions to our success.
I know our Soldiers did the heavy lifting of our deployment, but I also know that Families, loved ones and friends have kept our Soldiers going. Again, thanks to our great Soldiers and thanks to all of you back in the USA for your support.
I have attached a few photos. The first is a photo of our 29th CAB command team presenting and receiving some gifts from the 1/1 CAV as they departed theater. The second is a photo of me after a 5k “t-shirt” run. We call them t-shirt runs because they give you a t-shirt if you finish. Third is me with BG Charles Whittington, current Deputy Commanding General of the 29th Infantry Division and future Commanding General of the 29th Infantry Division, as he stopped to see us. He will assume command of the 29thInfantry Division later this year.
Best regards, Tom