By Staff Sgt. Tramel S. Garrett, 18th Military Police Brigade Public AffairsApril 30, 2012
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Soldiers of the 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, gathered to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the "Warrior" battalion April 5, here.
The 709th MP Bn. was constituted in 1942 to support the increasing war commitment in Europe and continues to support U.S. Army Europe through the conduct of professional law enforcement in our military communities as well as contingency missions and deployments in support of the Overseas Contingency Operations.
The event started with a slideshow highlighting events from the Normandy invasion and concluded with the focus shifting to the today's current mission. Additionally, there was a remembrance of the Soldiers who died while serving in the unit through the years. The recognition helped to show younger Soldiers the legacy of the unit past and present.
"The Soldiers of the 709th MP Battalion continue to serve our Nation with distinction as the battalion's veterans did 70 years ago," said Lt. Col. Roger Hedgepeth, the commander of the 709th MP Bn.
"Generations of forward deployed Warriors have assisted, protected and defended America and our allies throughout several conflicts with honor and bravery," Hedgepeth added.
"I think they really came to understand their shared lineage and honor, and a strong connection to past 709th Soldiers and their significant accomplishments once they saw the faces of the many Warriors throughout history, and the 709th MP Brassards on the beaches of Normandy," said Hedgepeth.
The festivities ended with a dinner in Kemnath, which is the partner town to the battalion. This celebration raised awareness of the heritage of the 709th MP Bn., and will continue to foster pride within the ranks.
"The 709th MP Bn., Soldiers of today continue to carry on the legacy and traditions of Warrior's past. Every company in the 709th has deployed at least three times to Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decade," said Hedgepeth.
"I am very proud of all our Warriors, and know they will continue to answer the call of our Nation no matter what the challenge," said Hedgepeth.