Roch J. Byrne, deputy to the commander for the Pine Bluff Arsenal, spoke to the Pine Bluff Rotary Club last week in honor of Veterans Day. He explained that, as chief executive and chief engineer for all Arsenal operations, he oversees approximately 700 employees and a $100 million annual budget.


Byrne noted that Veterans Day is a celebration of the patriotism, service and sacrifice of all those who serve, or have served, in the United States Military. He said that our nation celebrates Veterans Day on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month and that the legacy of the generations of patriots who dedicated themselves to the defense of our country makes us all strong and resilient as a nation.


Major General Bill Creasy was a pivotal part of the Pine Bluff Arsenal back in the 1940s. Serving as the officer in charge of the technical design and construction acceptance in 1941, Creasy helped build the Arsenal, establishing a strong foundation and a lasting legacy. The installation just celebrated 78 years on Nov. 4, 2017.


“We celebrate the strength, courage, and the dedication of our Veterans, who not only wield the hammer of conflict, but who also shape the world for lasting peace,” Byrne said.


There are three things that we can do for our veterans when they return home, he said.


First, they are soldiers for life. They continue to improve their skills, ensuring that they remain strong for themselves, their families, their communities and their nation. Second, the Army committed to lifelong success for our soldiers, veterans, and their families by connecting them with opportunities for employment, education and healthcare, post military services. Finally, supporting our soldiers and veterans requires a team approach by government agencies and the local community.