<b> SAVANNAH, Ga.</b> The wave of green Soldiers hardly stood out amongst the sea of civilians wearing green during the St. Patrick's Day Parade, March 17 in Savannah. As Soldiers made their way down the streets of downtown Savannah, they were lauded with affection in the form of beads and kisses - as evidenced by the bright red lipstick left on the cheeks of Soldiers.

"It was pretty wild," said Pfc. Ben Raschke, member of Company B, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion. "I was warned about all the girls that would be running out giving us beads and kisses, but it was a lot of fun with everybody cheering us on and thanking us. It felt great seeing the public come out and show their appreciation."

This was Rashcke's first St. Patrick's Day Parade in Savannah. He, along with 600 other Soldiers from the Combat Aviation Brigade, marched in the parade, which snaked through downtown Savannah, beginning at Forsyth Park and ending four miles later near the Savannah Civic Center.

"We participate in the St. Patrick's Day Parade every year we aren't deployed," said CAB Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Stidley. "I can honestly say we look forward to it. The amount of support that is poured out on the Soldiers reminds us that we are part of the community here and not only that, but we're a part that they are proud of."

Rick Maier, who served in the Army eight years and has since retired in Savannah, said he enjoys seeing the Soldiers come out and represent the Army at the parade.

"I think as Americans we all just appreciate the men and women who serve," said Maier. "No matter what your politics are (you Soldiers) represent our country."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16