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    Florida Army Guard Soldiers Participate in Traditional South Florida Parade

    Florida Army Guard Soldiers Participate in Traditional South Florida

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Shane Klestinski | Sgt. Frances Virella a soldier assigned to the 50th Regional Support Group’s (RSG)...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Jesse Manzano 

    50th Regional Support Group

    MIAMI – When Sgt. Frances Virella, a military driver assigned to the 50th Regional Support Group’s (RSG) Headquarters’ Company and a Puerto Rico native moved to South Florida, she was surprised that the Three Kings celebration was as popular in Miami as it was in her hometown. The Three Kings festivities honors the Hispanic tradition of the Three Wise Men bringing gifts to children every January 6th, and it is widely celebrated across Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

    What surprised Virella even more was that one of her first missions with the 50th RSG required her participation in Miami’s annual Three Kings Day Parade. “Since joining the 50th, I have participated in this parade on several occasions over the years as part of the unit’s community outreach efforts, but I have also attended the parade with my family when not on drilling status,” said Virella. “This is a great opportunity for local families and the community in general to see us, get to know us a little bit more, and learn about who we are and what we do.”

    This year, Virella and a group of Florida Guard soldiers and vehicles joined dozens of community organizations in Miami’s historic Little Havana neighborhood to participate in the parade, as the event marked its 50th anniversary.

    For Spc. Cardell Richardson, a supply specialist from Baton Rouge, La., participating in the parade was a unique experience. “It was exciting to be part of this event and show everyone what the Guard is about. The community welcomed us and that is always a great feeling.”

    The 50th RSG and its subordinate units participate in this event every year as part of the Florida Guard’s ongoing community outreach initiatives in the South Florida area. “We have supported this community event for almost two decades,” said Lt. Col. Javier Ortiz, Operations Officer with the 50th RSG. “It is very important for us to participate in it, not only because it strengthens our relationship with our community, but also because it reminds our neighbors that we are here for them.”

    For Virella, participating in events like the Three Kings Day Parade also highlights the Florida Guard’s diversity. “We live and work in a very diverse community and it’s great when we get to showcase what a diverse organization the Guard is to that community.”




    Date Taken: 01.12.2020
    Date Posted: 01.14.2020 15:56
    Story ID: 359173
    Location: MIAMI, FL, US 

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