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FORT POLK, La. -- State, local, and military leaders met at Fort Polk July 23 to pledge to continue working together.

They re-signed and reaffirmed the Army Community Covenant, first signed June 16, 2008. The re-signing came during a Polk Progress Update, held at Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk headquarters.

The covenant is an Army-wide initiative to increase the partnership between the Army and state and local communities.

The goal is to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their families, and the re-signing renews the commitment Fort Polk and its surrounding communities have to each other.
Brig. Gen. James C. Yarbrough, JRTC and Fort Polk commander, said the re-signing wasn't just symbolic.
"There is tons of progress we can account for," he said.
"These things don't happen overnight. We couldn't be happier with the progress that has been made."

Louisiana State Sen. John Smith agreed.
"I'm proud to see (how far) we have come. We have to give a large 'thank you' to General Yarbrough. I hope we can continue at this level."
Yarbrough noted the nation has been at war for eight years with an all-volunteer force, and said

Soldiers and Families have "benefited greatly from what this community has done."
Fort Polk and its surrounding communities were one of 85 to hold signing ceremonies in 2008.
The goal for 2009 is to offer every state and city in the country the chance to host a ceremony.