Communities join in support
Local support for the return of the 1165th Military Police Company of the Alabama Army National Guard has been huge and inspiring in the last two weeks.
We received calls at The Brewton Standard all day Friday and even Saturday morning from people wondering when the troops would roll into town. And local support of the soldiers was evident in the crowds who gathered along their route, despite rain and uncertainty about exactly what time they'd pass.
Many people from all over the area have been working behind the scenes this week to ensure the 1165th's homecoming would be a joyful one.
Escambia County, Brewton and East Brewton law enforcement jumped at the chance to give the troops a proper escort from Fort Benning, through the cities of Brewton and East Brewton and to the armory in Riverview yesterday. At least 50 local motorcyclists joined the caravan.
Over the last few weeks, many have been working to assemble enough signs and ribbons to line the 1165th's route all the way from the Conecuh County line. The Brewton Lions Club made sure there were plenty of American flags waving all the way to the armory.
To make yesterday's celebration even more special, many local businesses erected huge signs of welcome, Southern Pine flanked Hwy. 41with a large flag and welcome sign, NDI provided each member of the 1165th with a yellow rose and WEBJ broadcasted live from the armory.
And many more contributed in big and small ways to give our 1165th a big homecoming.
I think the consensus among everyone involved was these troops made a priceless sacrifice over the past 16 months, for which we are all grateful beyond words.
We are indebted to their families too, for giving up this time with them so that they may serve for all of us. I hope that their safe return home is as happy and fulfilling as we've all anticipated.