N.J. National Guard Iraq vets to parade Friday in Trenton | State | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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N.J. National Guard Iraq vets to parade Friday in Trenton

veterans061009_optBY TOM HESTER SR.
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

In what will be the largest military parade in Trenton since the end of World War II 64 years ago, 2,900 New Jersey Army National Guard soldiers will march from the Statehouse to the Soverign Bank Arena on Friday as the state officially welcomes them home after 10 months in Iraq.

The soldiers are members of the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and they took part in the state National Guard's largest deployment since World War II.

The parade will form on West State Street and the soldiers will pause at the New Jersey World War II Memorial across from the Statehouse to be recognized by Gov. Jon Corzine and Major Gen. Glenn K. Reith.

The soldiers will be joined on the 1.1-mile march by high school bands from Ewing, Newark, Paterson and Trenton.

route061009_optDuring the parade, the soldiers' families will be entertained at the arena by comedian Joe Piscopo, Broadway star Mary D'Arcy, American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle, R&B artist Chanj and Sarah Dash, a former vocalist with Patti LaBelle and The Blue Bells. Professional sports personalities will be there to sign autographs.

Here is the schedule for the day:

10:17 a.m. — Flyover of West State Street by three UH-60 Army National Guard helicopters.

10:30 a.m. — 19-gun salute by 105mm cannons behind Statehouse.

10:32 a.m. — Each of the brigade's 24 companies stop at the memorial to be greeted by Corzine and Reith.

10:34 a.m. — Parade moves along the 1.1 mile route along South Broad Street to arena.

At the arena:

10:00 a.m. — Families may enter.

12:00 p.m. — The first Guard companies enter the arena.

Route 206 in Trenton will be closed during the event.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments (6)
6 Sunday, 14 June 2009 13:11
A Soldier's Wife
Shame on Reith, Shame on Corzine for trying to use the soldiers and families for political gain. The soldiers should have de-mobed, went home to their families and down the road hold a parade to welcome back our citizen soldiers that we all would have wanted to attend. Our soldiers and families deserved some respect from Corzine and Reith. We are so happy to have our soldiers home, not one hurt, but the parade was a sham.

I hope the good citizens of NJ DO NOT VOTE Corzine back into office. He only showed up at McGuire to welcome back the soldiers who came in on Memorial Day, along with cameras. Is my husband less important that Corzine did not show up to meet all the planes? He knew when they were coming and could have re-arranged his schedule. SHAME ON CORZINE!
5 Saturday, 13 June 2009 11:41
Cindy
I would like to thank these brave men and women for giving their time and lives to give us freedom. http://www.cafepress.com/50thInfantry Love the troops!
4 Friday, 12 June 2009 13:47
Gigi
Thank God you made it home safely...........Thanks for all of your work we are proud of our troops. I am a proud mother of a US MARINE SERGEANT
3 Friday, 12 June 2009 07:23
Nanny Bug
My heart overflows with the joy the families must be feeling! I am glad they are returning to move on with their lives. I am taking my boys to the parade - their Grandfathers served in the military and several wars. My finance was a US MAarine (so proud of him), his father is a career US Marine, and his younger brother as well - he is still overseas.

My youngest son who is 12 wants to join the military and asks me if he has to wait until he's 18. WELCOME HOME guys! You are the State of New Jersey's BEST!!!
2 Thursday, 11 June 2009 16:56
really now
It is a shame that the majority of the soldiers marching were NOT even in Iraq. The are full time guardsmen being mandated to show up to bolster this photo op for Corzine and Reith during this election time. The few Iraq veterans marching, like my husband, have been held up in processing so that there would be some bodies at the parade. And these guys have not been allowed to even visit home yet! Corzine and Reith should be ashamed of themselves for being so self serving!!! Let them come home. I hope it rains on their parade. (Sorry honey!) A parade down the road would have been better supported by the families, but don't listen to us...it is only our lives you are messing with.
1 Thursday, 11 June 2009 10:01
Calista
I can't attend(because I'll be attending a funeral), but I urge everyone else who can make it - please go and show love and support for these brave men and women!

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