It's not everyday that your state receives a new US Senator via appointment. And it is in that spirit that I pass along, in whole, Senator John Walsh's FIRST official press release as senator.

But before that, here is the audio of Senator Walsh taking office:

 

 

Photo courtesy of John Walsh/Facebook

 

Walsh pledges to protect civil liberties, cut spending, create jobs

Senator, an Iraq veteran, also promises to fight for veterans as he takes oath

John Walsh pledged to protect civil liberties, cut spending and create jobs as he officially became Montana's newest U.S. Senator Tuesday.

Walsh, the former adjutant general of the Montana National Guard who led more than 700 soldiers into combat in Iraq, also promised to fight for Montana's and America's veterans--especially on issues like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Walsh is the first Iraq veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate.

“I'm eager to keep fighting for Montana in the Senate because we've got so much to do to get our nation out of debt, to fight for our veterans and the freedoms they gave us, and to rebuild our economy--all while protecting those who can't defend themselves,” Walsh said after his swearing in ceremony in the U.S. Capitol.  “I accept the responsibility of serving as Montana's senator knowing that Montana deserves no less than courage and selfless service.”

Walsh, Montana's former Lieutenant Governor, was joined by his wife Janet, sons Michael and Taylor, daughter-in-law April, and 8-month old granddaughter Kennedy.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock on Friday appointed Walsh to serve the remainder of Senator Max Baucus' term.  The U.S. Senate last week unanimously confirmed Baucus to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China.

Walsh is a decorated military leader.  His decorations include the Legion of Merit Award, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Walsh is a native of Butte, Mont.  He attended Carroll College in Helena, Mont., and earned a Master's Degree from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Penn.

Joining Walsh for Tuesday's swearing-in ceremony was Karel Morales, a National Guardsman who served under then-Lieutenant Colonel Walsh in Iraq in 2004-5.