Springfield pays tribute to Belvoir with bridge walk
August 27, 2009
By Paul Bello
- 8th annual Springfield Bridge Walk
Leaders sign Army Community Covenant
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- The 8th annual Springfield Bridge Walk, hosted by Lee District supervisor Jeffrey McKay, was held Tuesday night.
The event pays tribute to the Fort Belvoir community. This year the walk culminated with the signing of the Army Community Covenant - which signifies the long-standing partnership between the installation and its neighbors in Fairfax County.
Festivities began with a traditional march down Springfield Boulevard. Led by the American Legion Color Guard, more than 40 NCOs and another 150 Advanced Individual Training Soldiers from Belvoir crossed the highway overpass onto Amherst Avenue, before nestling themselves back inside the American Legion parking lot for the evening's conclusion.
Looking out into a sea of men and women in uniform, McKay responded by saying, "Doesn't Springfield look good tonight!" After the applause, he summed up what brought everyone together and why the night was so special.
"This is an opportunity to show support of our Soldiers at Fort Belvoir," McKay said. "This community has proud and humble feelings for all of you and we can't thank you enough for what you do. You mean a lot to everyone here."
Joining McKay were two of his colleagues on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors - Chairman Sharon Bulova and supervisor Pat Herity of Springfield. Herity spoke fondly of the working relationship with Belvoir and said the covenant signing would permanently state that partnership for years to come.
Brig. Gen. Karl Horst, commanding general of Joint Forces Headquarters for the National Capital Region-Military District of Washington, also attended, along with Fort Belvoir Installation Commander Col. Jerry Blixt and Command Sgt. Maj. Gabriel Berhane.
Horst, who began his career 36 years ago as a private stationed at Belvoir, said he's always proud to be around Soldiers and citizens.
"Our sons and daughters are represented through the men and women in service. We can't do what we do without the support and consent of the community," Horst said. "When downrange, we always want to know what everyone back home thinks of our job. The fact that we can trust each other is what makes America great and that means a lot to us."
Blixt added that he's pleased to have so much support from the Springfield district, including that of the board of supervisors. According to him, the large turnout of Soldiers was Belvoir's way of "returning the favor" to those in the community.
Among those attending from Belvoir were members of the following: HHC Special Activities; 212th Military Police Detachment; 12th Aviation Battalion; Dewitt Army Hospital Command; 249th Prime Power; Veterinary Command; 169th AIT and Joint Personnel Property Shipping Office.