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    Brooklyn Army recruiters, 174th Inf Bde participate in 156th Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade

    Brooklyn Army recruiters, 174th Inf Bde participate in 156th Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf | Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 315th Brigade Support Battalion, 174th Infantry...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf 

    174th Infantry Brigade

    JOINT BASE MDL, New Jersey – For 156 years, the borough of Brooklyn in New York City has remembered and honored those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to the nation with one of the oldest Memorial Day parades in the country.

    Soldiers from the 174th Infantry Brigade were invited to participate in this year's observance, May 29, 2023, at John Paul Jones Park, in partnership with the South Brooklyn Recruiting Company, New York City Recruitment Battalion.

    "Whether it's working with our schools or veteran organizations, we see no better opportunity than Memorial Day to help memorialize the heroes of Brooklyn who have paid the ultimate sacrifice," said 1st Lt. Kevin Loughlin, a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native and executive officer for the recruitment company. “We are fortunate to have the 174th Infantry Brigade from Fort Dix, New Jersey, with us today.”

    Loughlin asked the First Army team to provide some vehicles and personnel to help his team represent the Army in the parade. After the parade, children and families could climb inside the military vehicles for photo opportunities.

    “We set up in the way we did because we wanted to be as engaged with the community as much as possible and hear their stories and share the stories of some of our future Soldiers that will be shipping out to basic training,” he said.

    The park was the gathering place for military services representatives, veteran organizations, and Brooklyn residents, creating a sense of unity and reflection. The atmosphere shifted within the city's usual hustle and bustle as people paused to honor and remember the fallen on this solemn day.

    Engagement in the community is a priority for Loughlin's recruiting station, outside of finding recruits. He and his team have been actively participating in events like this throughout the city for the past year, and he sees it as a mutually beneficial relationship with the community.

    "Community events are very important for us because they illustrate that recruiting is not our only mission, but also serving our community," Loughlin said.

    Loughlin and his team had their tables filled with pamphlets, brochures, and trinkets they could pass out throughout the day. When the tactical vehicles from the 174th Infantry Brigade completed the parade's route, they parked right behind their booth.

    "It felt great seeing the community really showing their appreciation to service today," said Sgt. 1st class Jamie Belk, a Rome, New York, native and observer, coach/trainer with the 174th Infantry Brigade. "It was definitely fulfilling seeing the level of appreciation shown by this community. My cheeks actually hurt from smiling so much and waving at all these kids and families from this supportive, local community."

    Belk served as a recruiter in Michigan for three years before coming to First Army, familiarizing him with the importance of community events and fostering strong relationships between the military and the communities.

    The recruiting company also asked their future Soldiers, who have performed the oath of enlistment and are awaiting to ship out to basic training, to attend and interact with the community during the parade and observance.

    "I decided to join the Army mainly because of the stability," said Ingrain Phyu, a Brooklyn, New York, native, and future combat engineer. "I was raised in a not-so-stable household. I got myself comfortable with the changes, but I do like stability. I feel that the Army, with the resources I have researched, will provide that stability, and I crave that."

    Phyu said she initially struggled to begin a conversation with a recruiter and shared some advice for those who may be feeling the same way.

    "I was very introverted," she said. "So, for someone really interested in joining the Army, don't be scared. Ask questions and take that first step. Don't be scared."

    After 156 years, the borough has had plenty of time to make its Memorial Day parade and observance one of the best in the area.

    "The Brooklyn community is absolutely amazing," said Loughlin. "The Brooklyn Memorial Day parade is easily hands down the best Memorial Day parade in all five boroughs. We are fortunate to honor the heroes of the community that we serve."



    Date Taken: 05.29.2023
    Date Posted: 05.30.2023 20:27
    Story ID: 445815
    Location: BROOKLYN, NY, US 
    Hometown: BETHLEHEM, PA, US
    Hometown: BROOKLYN, NY, US
    Hometown: ROME, NY, US

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