Christmas Eve March to Honor Deployed Soldiers
Photo by Lt. Col. Paul Fanning, Joint Forces Headquarters-New York
QUEENSBURY, NY (12/24/2009)-- Led by New York Army National Guard Soldiers Pfc. Matthew Jones (left) an Albany resident, and Pfc. Seth Wieland, who lives in South Glens Falls; almost 100 New York Army National Guard Soldiers and Civilian set out on a 3.8 mile hike that began and ended at the Queensbury Readiness Center on the morning of Christmas Eve.
This is the sixth time that area Soldiers, veterans, and military families have met to conduct a Road March in support of Soldiers deployed away from their homes during Christmas.
The tradition began in 2004 when Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion 108th infantry, who had been assigned to the Glens Falls Armory , were serving in Iraq over Christmas. Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Coons, the local recruiter organized a road march, the military term for a hike, to remember the Soldiers who were not at home and instead overseas. Since then the march has continued.
"We want them to know we are keeping them and their service in mind this season. We wanted to take some time out to remember them and what they are doing for our nation far from home and seperated from those who love them," Coon said.
New York State Sen. Elizabeth Little, who represent the region, was one of those attending this years march ,which was also covered by local television stations and newspapers.
The Guard members came from the 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry, the 466th Area Medical Company, and the 1427th Medium Truck Company, the 3rd Battalion 142nd Aviation, and the 206th Military Police Company.