In his remarks, Gov. Bredesen reminded those assembled that, "nearly 20 thousand Tennessee guardsmen and women have been deployed in the war on terror since Sept. 11 2001 --- more than eight years ago. They have served with distinction."
Tennessee's new Adj. Gen. Max Haston told dignitaries and guardsmen, "Being in the National Guard is a family tradition." He praised his father with tears in his eyes, "Guess I saw the light on being a guardsman at a very early age. (This is where I knew it was going to get hard.) My Dad, First Sgt. Jerry Haston, served over 40 years in the National Guard."
The newly sworn Adj. Gen. Haston said, "We have the best National Guard we have ever had in Tennessee and nationally. The guard is at the tip of the spear in this global war fight. We are much like what was once said of the British Empire --- the sun never sets on us."
One gubernatorial hopeful, Zach Wamp, attended the Change of Command ceremonies, saying "Frankly, this is the part of my next job I look forward to the most."
Currently, Tennessee's Third Dist. congressman is the ranking member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. "We've got facilities under construction all across the state to support what (the Guard is) doing," he said.
Gen. Haston's immediate predecessor, Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, Jr. will now lead the National Guard Association of the United States in Washington, D.C..
Tennessee's new Adj. Gen. Max Haston (l.) took his oath of office from Gov. Phil Bredesen (r.) with his wife, Ann, holding the Bible while his son Travis looked on.
Gov. Phil Bredesen knelt to pose with the Haston family behind him. (center back) National Guard Adj. Gen. Max Haston, (left back) son Travis and wife Ann, (right back) mother Betty and father, First Sgt. Jerry Haston.