FORT STEWART, Ga. - Many Soldiers were missed at the 186th edition St. Patrick's Day Parade held in Savannah, Ga., March 17, due to the 3rd Infantry Division's fourth deployment to Iraq and combat mission in Afghanistan. However, these Dog Face Soldiers were certainly not forgotten. Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Family Members, leaders and fellow Soldiers showed support to deployed troops by participating in the nation's second largest St. Patrick's Day festivity.
Family Members stepped up to the plate to ensure a successful showing of Marne pride and support for the Army Family. They walked in the parade carrying a banner that read, "United We Stand, Spouses of deployed military at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield" to the cheers of about 400,000 spectators that crowded the parade route.
Jill McCabe, whose husband is currently deployed, came up with the idea to enlist Family Members of deployed Soldiers to march in the absence of their Soldier.
"St. Patrick's Day is my husband's favorite holiday," she said.
Jacqui Coffman said she also wanted to participate to honor the troops.
"The love and support back home makes it easier for our Soldiers to do their jobs down-range," she said.
Melody Sexton, spouse to 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Commander Col. Charles E. A. Sexton, who is also deployed, expressed her gratitude for the "tremendous support from Division" for quickly coming to the aid of the Family Readiness Groups to make the parade sponsorship easily accomplished.
"It is a very humbling experience being here today," she said.
Though the majority of 3rd ID Soldiers are deployed, Stewart-Hunter Soldiers were represented at the parade, by the 260th Quartermaster Battalion; the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment; 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; the 385th Military Police Battalion; and 188th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East marching through the streets of Savannah.