Lott Name Etched In Mississippi Military History

Some say the state of Mississippi would not be what it is today if it were not for Senator Trent Lott.

"I can tell you for sure there wouldn't have been a port of Pascagoula. I can tell you that the Air National Guard in Jackson , Mississippi would not be flying C-17s," said Mississippi Adjutant General Harold Cross.

And it is this driving force behind the state's military successes for over 30 years that was honored Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm really honored. You know, I hope it's appropriate but it shows that I really do care about our Air Guard unit here in Gulfport, and I really care about our men and women in uniform and all of our branches," said Lott.

Over the past 10 years, Senator Lott has helped to get over 74-million dollars in funding for the training center.

"A few years ago, when I came out here and took a look at what we had at our Air Guard facility in Gulfport, it was not up to par. It was really an embarrassment, and I was ashamed of it. As a congressman and subsequently as a senator, I made a determination then that we were gonna get decent facilities for our air guard unit in Gulfport, Mississippi," said Lott.

He believes it is the federal government's responsibility to defend this country, and to supply the elements it needs to defend it well.

He is proud to help make sure it does just that, but he says his name on the wall is just that - a name on a wall.

"I want to make sure it's not about me. It's not about this wall. It's not even about my grandson or my granddaughter. It's a tribute that I would like to make to these men that I see standing around and these women in our military for what they have done for us," said Lott.

The Trent Lott National Guard Training Center includes the guard's readiness training center, the 1108th AVCRAD, and the 890th Engineer Battalion.