Philip Rucker, The Washington Post via Instagram for #2012Unfiltered

Under criticism for failing to mention the war in Afghanistan or recognize America’s troops in his convention speech last month, Mitt Romney repeatedly honored veterans, troops and civilian responders as he addressed a National Guard gathering in Reno, Nev. on Tuesday.

Romney made no new policy pronouncements; he set a goal for the Afghanistan war, as he has before, of completing a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014, but did not expound on the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

Instead, Romney told personal stories of his encounters with troops and Guardsmen, both during a trip to Afghanistan and Iraq as governor of Massachusetts and on the campaign trail running for president.

“It has been my privilege to meet with troops and veterans from just about every state,” Romney said. “They come from our farms, our great cities, our small towns and quiet neighborhoods. Many have known violence so that their neighbors could know peace.  They have done more than protect America; their courage and service defines America.”

These are the kinds of recollections Romney left out of his acceptance speech Aug. 30 at  the Republican national Convention in Tampa, where he became the first Republican in generations not to mention war in accepting his party’s nomination.

More: Mitt Romney talks about Afghanistan, Sept. 11 attacks at Reno event