Tuesday, June 2, 2009

MDDF Band Honors Veterans

By CPL (MD) Allison Hastings
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
1 June 2009

BALTIMORE - The newly formed Maryland Defense Force (MMDF) Band played in two events honoring America’s veterans this Memorial Day weekend. The Band provided ceremonial support for the dedication of Patriots Plaza in Towson and for the 20th Anniversary of the Maryland Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Baltimore.

In Towson on May 22nd the band played at the dedication and renaming of the Towson Court Plaza; now known as Patriots Plaza. The dedication brought out many top officials, to include Brig. Gen. James Adkins, the adjutant general of Maryland, James Smith, the county executive for Baltimore County, as well as a number of veterans of the 29th Infantry Division.

On May 25th the band performed at the 20th Anniversary of the Maryland Vietnam Veterans Memorial ceremony which was attended by many veterans and their families as well as current political and military officials. Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley spoke at the event honoring veterans along with Brig. Gen. (MD) Courtney Wilson, commander of the Maryland Defense Force and Brig. Gen. Allyson Solomon, Maryland’s assistant adjutant general-Air.

“The men and women of the Maryland Defense Force are all tremendously proud to be part of these events honoring our fallen veterans and their families,” said Brig. Gen. Wilson. “Our nation is indebted to those who have given the full measure in defense of our freedom.”

The Defense Force Band is directed by Maj. (MD) Jari Villanueva. The band was first authorize late last year and was fully operational in March for their first performance at the Annual MDDF Muster. Currently the band has 24 members and is seeking to expand to 40 members total in the coming months. Opportunities exist for any qualified MDDF members especially within the woodwind section.

“The Maryland Defense Force Band is honored to be part of the many ceremonies that recognize the great accomplishments of this nation’s veterans,” said Maj. Villanueva. “We stand ready to support the citizens of Maryland and our partners the Maryland National Guard wherever and whenever needed.”

Headquartered at the Pikesville Military Reservation in Baltimore, the Maryland Defense Force is a volunteer uniformed state military agency organized under the Maryland Military Department. Formally established by the Maryland legislature in 1917, the unit's heritage and traditions trace back to the 17th century.

MDDF is one of a number of State Defense Forces authorized by the U.S. Congress under Title 32 and the respective state legislatures. While specific missions vary from state to state, State Defense Forces exist primarily to augment the capabilities of the National Guard. Employing volunteers who bring military experience and/or civilian professional skills, they supplement the capabilities of the National Guard, assist in National Guard mobilization for federal service, replace National Guard assets deployed out-of-state, and support state homeland security missions. State Defense Forces operate under the command of the Governor, as state Commander-in-Chief, and fall under the operational control of the state Adjutant General. State Defense Forces receive no federal funds and are supported entirely by the state.

For more information about the Maryland Defense Force, go to www.mddefenseforce.org

For more information about the MDDF band go to www.mddfband.org