JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WASH. - The surrounding communities of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., have often times showed support to the soldiers stationed here.

To thank the community for their support, soldiers with Troop B, 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, marched through downtown Milton, Wash., followed closely by their Stryker vehicle during the Milton Days Parade, Aug. 17, as part of the Milton Days-Rock the Park.

Milton Days is an annual event the city of Milton conducts every year to come together as a community and celebrate the city's accomplishments. This year's theme was Rock the Park, and the soldiers with Troop B were proud to take part in the annual parade.

"It was really a great honor to be out here supporting the squadron and the brigade and see the support from the local Families," said Capt. Terron Wharton, Troop B commander. "As we say, the families are the heart behind the shield of the Lancer brigade and the [strength] of the families [are] in the communities."

Pvt. Tyler Wells, a cavalryman with Troop B, saw the day as an opportunity to get to know the people he serves.

"I like driving the Stryker and getting out and talking to people so I thought it would be fun," said Wells. "It is really important to get out here; people only see us training and they don't get to actually talk to us and meet us."

After the parade, the cavalrymen displayed their Stryker at a car show to give the public a chance to learn more about this combat vehicle.

"When we were coming up to the area [my kids] saw the vehicle and shouted 'let's go get on the tank!,' said Thomas Tyner, a Milton local. "It's nice for [the soldiers] to come out. I know they work hard and it is nice to see them out and supporting our community."

Children and adults alike had the opportunity to get on the Stryker and use some of the gear soldiers use every day.

In return, the community of Milton welcomed the soldiers of Troop B to their city and made sure they felt welcome.

"On the way here people were stopping and waiving to us and thanking us," said Wells. "It feels great and gets me really stoked."

Just as equipment and training is important to soldiers, the support from local communities is a vital part in combat readiness.

"We can't do what we do without the support of the community. Every soldier in uniform is somebody's brother, friend, sister, father, mother, uncle or cousin," said Wharton. "We come from the community, and to receive the support and love from the community is awesome and very humbling."

Page last updated Mon August 19th, 2013 at 23:16