News: Vanguard Brigade, 3rd ID Band march in 25th Annual Brooklet Peanut Festival
Story by Sgt. Joshua Laidacker
BROOKLET, Ga. - Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, or the Vanguard Brigade, of 3rd Infantry Division, along with members of the 3rd ID Band, known as the Rhythm of the Marne, marched in the 25th Annual Brooklet Peanut Festival, in Brooklet, Ga., Aug. 16.
The Brooklet Peanut Festival was full of activities that started with the Peanut Run at 7 a.m. and ended with a street dance at 10:30 p.m. with a parade, tractor race, art and food vendors, and live entertainment throughout the day.
“I feel like the parade was a success,” said Spc. Dylan Dennis, a chemical biological radiological and nuclear specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th IBCT, and native of Jacksonville, Florida. “The showing that the community gave us definitely was very welcoming.”
According to the National Peanut Board, a group which strives to help growers lower production costs and increase consumer demand for U.S. grown peanuts, Georgia produces the most peanuts of all U.S. states. The peanuts are used for food products such as peanut butter, peanut flour, peanut oil and all kinds of candies making this crop not only important for the state of Georgia, but also to all peanut lovers around the U.S.
While the soldiers from the Marne Division marched in the parade, the crowd of patriotic citizens waved small flags, clapped and cheered as the soldiers passed. Many of the soldiers remarked the sense of pride in their profession that this kind of reception inspired in them.
“They were shouting and clapping a lot,” said Spc. Dantaya McKee, also a CBRN specialist with HHC, 4-3 BSTB, and native of Boston. “It gave me a little bit of motivation about what I do on a regular basis because it lets me know that people support us.”
“It definitely gave me a sense of pride,” said Dennis. “It was a good feeling overall knowing that those people are there for us as we are there for them.”
McKee said she enjoyed having the Rhythm of the Marne playing directly in front of the formation because it kept the marching beat and enabled the formation of soldiers to easily stay in step.
Col. Thomas Gukeisen, commander of the Vanguard Brigade, added that it was an honor for the troops to represent 3rd ID and participate in the parade.