Monument Unveiled In Poplarville

Soldiers of Poplarville who served with the 155th Brigade Combat Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom, were honored today during a ceremony on the Pearl River County Courthouse Lawn.

A seven foot tall monument was unveiled with the names of all one hundred twenty six local soldiers who served.

Veteran Nick Parker is the proud father of twins Mitch and Mike who recently home from serving their county with the 155-th in Iraq.

Parker comes from a long line of soldiers and proud Americans.

"My father was in WWI, 2 brothers in WWII, and I have a brother that caught the tail end of the Korean conflict.I love my country and I love what my boys have done," said Parker.

And that kind of love and pride in their hometown heroes served as the inspiration for a monument unveiled Saturday.

A as part of a special ceremony honoring their service to their country.

Captain Bryan Olier recalls his unit's fifty two combat engagements during their one year stay in Iraq.

"We all shivered at the thought of combat. And we were scared, I was scared. It was only by the grace of God that we came back. We were the only company that came back 100%.," said Olier.

Nick Parker's wife Judy is grateful for the return of her hometown heroes.

But she can't help but to feel for the families of soldiers elsewhere who died serving their country.

"It's wonderful I am proud of them, but I also remember the ones that didn't get to come home. I keep on thinking that could have been me and my family," said Parker.

Parker says this monument will also help future generations remember what others put on the line to protect their freedoms.

"Their children and their children's children will always be able to see this," said Judy Parker.

"That's one of the greatest things we could have done for our boys to show our appreciation," said Nick Parker.

Poplarville's hometown National Guard unit had zero casualties during their deployment period. The three feet wide monument is displayed on Main Street in Poplarville.