Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston visited the area when he attended the MAC Breakfast hosted by the Junction City - Geary County Military Affairs Council Thursday at Acorns Resort. He was invited to be the guest speaker for the event.
The Color Guard from Junction City High School presented the colors for the Pledge of Allegiance before Craig Bender, MAC director, introduced Grinston.
Grinston is a former 1st Infantry Division command sergeant major from 2013 to 2015. He started by thanking many people in the room.
“I know it’s dangerous, but I do have a list of people,” he said. “It feels like I’m coming back home. I have a lot of friends so if I miss anyone I’ll apologize now.”
Grinston said he was in the area before when he went to Manhattan for MAC breakfast and he was happy to have been able to make it out to Junction City.
“It's really good to be back,” he said. “I promised when I left the 1ID that I would still keep coming back and I've gotten both sides now. I think the last breakfast was in Manhattan and now in Junction City. So, when I say this is truly home, I actually mean it.”
Grinston talked about the roll of soldiers, not only in combat but in everyday life. When the COVID-19 pandemic was announced more than 50,000 soldiers from active, National Guard and Reserve units were used in support of the containment efforts, he said.
“They’re out making sure we had our hospitals still running, and making sure that we could protect the nation,” he said. “But what some people don't realize is that we’re doing more than just that. We have the Army Research Institute at Fort Detrick, (Maryland) that actually is trying to develop a vaccine. These are soldiers and doctors that work directly for the Army in support of the nation.”
He talked about soldiers having a squad. That squad is made up of not just soldiers and leaders but also family. And those leaders have to be the right ones because there is an obligation for soldiers to the country.
“What I'm saying is that we have an obligation to the nation and to the army in our country,” he said. “And sometimes it's not about one individual. This is about being part of something bigger than yourself. We owe this to our soldiers, we owe it to all of you, because we're your army.”
Grinston answered questions from the group before turning the microphone back over to Bender who introduced the sponsors of the event and talked about upcoming events.
The next MAC Breakfast is September 24 at Acorns Resort.