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JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — More than 50 Guardsmen of the 176th Wing joined current and former military members in Anchorage’s first Veterans Day Parade downtown on Nov. 7.
There were approximately 250 active service members participating in the parade, according to Art Bell, a member of the Anchorage Veterans Day Parade Committee.
This has been the largest group of actively serving veterans to march in downtown Anchorage, he said.
“Just to see the support from the community was awesome,” said Staff Sgt. Nathan Namauu, the lead organizer for the wing’s parade participation.
Representatives from the 176th Security Forces, 176th Civil Engineer Squadron, 176th Maintenance Operations Flight and 176th Wing Student Flight showcased how Guardsmen serve the local community beyond their military duties. Guardsmen who also work in state and city law enforcement drove their patrol cars, and a Guardsman led her dog-sled team through the parade route.
Namauu reflected on the crowd cheering as the recent deployment-returnees of the 176th Security Forces passed by with family members.
“To get the recognition they deserve [as Guardsmen], that, to me, was moving,” Namauu said.