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    Florida Army Guard participates in recognition ceremonies at Hard Rock Stadium

    Florida Army Guard participates in recognition ceremonies at Hard Rock Stadium

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Shane Klestinski | After two back-to-back recognition ceremonies, Florida Army National Guard leaders...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Shane Klestinski 

    50th Regional Support Group

    The Florida Army National Guard both gave and received special recognition for efforts supporting Florida’s COVID-19 response in back-to-back ceremonies at the Hard Rock Stadium Community Based Testing Site (CBTS) in Miami Gardens on Oct. 19, 2020.

    In the first ceremony, Capt. Kenneth Dixon, commander of the 356th Quartermaster Company and the officer-in-charge of Florida Guardsmen at the Hard Rock Stadium CBTS, presented Nelson Hincapie, President and CEO of Voices for Children Foundation, with a Florida Commendation Medal.

    Several months ago, Dixon noticed that small children who went through his CBTS could be scared of Soldiers wearing head-to-toe Tyvek suits with masks, and he wondered if there was a way to make the experience more positive. After Dixon reported his concern to his chain of command, Hincapie’s non-profit organization learned of the situation and responded by supplying teddy bears to give to children going through the testing site to help them feel safe.

    In the second ceremony, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert issued a proclamation formally recognizing the service of Fort Lauderdale’s 356th Quartermaster Company at the Hard Rock CBTS. The 356th’s parent command, the 50th Regional Support Group, has served as the Florida Guard’s main effort since COVID-19 support operations began in March. Gilbert’s proclamation also established Oct. 19, 2020, as “Florida National Guard Day” in the city of Miami Gardens.

    “I just want to thank all the Florida Guard Soldiers,” Gilbert said after the ceremony. “Sometimes we don’t realize that these are people who live among us – neighbors, friends, family members and co-workers – who leave their civilian lives in service to their country, so what they do is extraordinarily admirable.”




    Date Taken: 10.19.2020
    Date Posted: 10.22.2020 13:25
    Story ID: 381455
    Location: MIAMI GARDENS, FL, US 

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