Army National Guard Unit Marches In Support of Troops - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/22/03

Army National Guard Unit Marches In Support of Troops

Some South Mississippians say they'd like to see more support for our troops.... present and past. During the Spanish American War a infantry called the Mississippi Rifles faced overwhelming odds and won. It was February of 1847 when Colonel Jefferson Davis led them to victory at the Battle of Buena Vista. The 3rd annual Buena Vista March paid tribute to those soldiers while keeping in mind the current dangers the military faces.

For 10 miles with 35 pound backpacks members of Charlie Company, first of the one fifty fifth Infantry carried their respect for the history of their Army National Guard Unit.

Capt.Andrew Robertson said "I want to make certain people understand this isn't a pro-war march. This is simply commemoration of the Battle of Buena Vista home grown infantry right here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast."

The Buena Vista March took the unit from Jones Park in Gulfport to the Armory in Biloxi. There waited a cheering, flag waving crowd who seemed to appreciate the sentiment.

"I really didn't expect to see anybody else here," said Army National Guardsman Nathan Wiens."Hearing the national anthem playing as you walked up. You got a little choked up."

During a brief ceremony, speakers urged everyone not to repeat America's past mistakes of not supporting soldiers at war. Some people say backlash against the troops has already begun.

Biloxi resident Toni Mullen said "They probably feel like it's against them also but right now I guess it doesn't really matter if you support the war or not. You need to support the troops."

"It's not supporting war. It's supporting your troops and that's the most important thing," said Dana Watson, whose boyfriend has been deployed to the Middle East. "You have to support your troops and that's all that we ask is that y'all pray for them and support them. That's all we want."

Guard members say what they want is to salute to the men and women who do, have or will wear the uniform.

by Danielle Thomas

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