SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Each year, the Georgia National Guard turns its birthday into a celebration of those who made it what it is today.
Tuesday, that birthday brought together dozens of Guardsmen and women both current and retired. For the fifth year in a row, the celebration was combined with a retiree appreciation day at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta at Dobbins Air Reserve base.
In fact, many of the retirees there Tuesday got a free ride from Savannah onboard an Air National Guard C-130, courtesy of the 165th Airlift Wing.
And here's something you may not know.
"The National Guard is actually the oldest service. And this is an opportunity not only for us to get together and recognize the 380th birthday of the National Guard and all the service and sacrifice that's gone along with that, but it's also an opportunity for us to bring all our retired service members Army and Air Guard together to give them a benefits briefing to make sure we take care of those who served even after they've taken the uniform off," said GA National Guard Brig. Gen. Thomas Carden.
The oldest Air National Guard veteran at Tuesday's birthday party was Savannah's own Albert Quante. The now 91-year-old veteran got out of the Navy in 1946, joined the Air National Guard and spent the next 37 years there in aircraft maintenance.