However, Friday’s parade was especially important for Mason County residents. The parade served as a send off for the Field Service Company, 1092nd Engineer Battalion.
The event began at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School and continued past Point Pleasant Intermediate School to allow students to bid farewell to the troops. The troops were later transported to the Mason County Board of Education Office. The parade route then continued down Main St. in Point Pleasant, where large crowds lined the sidewalks. All three area high school bands participated in the event as well.
Many in attendance donned patriotic clothing, waved American flags and held signs of support for the 1092nd. Sam Nibert, FFA advisor and instructor of the Mason County Career Center, displayed a sign on behalf of the career center students and faculty. Nibert described the parade as a wonderful way to show the troops that the area cares for them.
“It’s an honor to see the people come out and support these troops. We want to make sure they return safe and that they do their job,” Nibert said, adding that many members of the 1092nd are local residents.
Clarence Mason, a veteran of the Korean War and Point Pleasant resident, attended the parade to show his support for the 1092nd as well.
“I’m terrifically proud of them,” he said.
At the parade’s conclusion, the crowd along with members of the 1092nd gathered around the flag pole at the Gene Salem Senior Center for a special ceremony. Pastor Janis Smith gave the invocation, while Bob Caruthers, past State Commander of the VFW, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Miles Epling also welcomed those in attendance.
“We were worried about the weather, but the sun shines in Mason County today and I know that the sun will shine on the 1092nd,” Epling said.
Point Pleasant Mayor Brian Billings spoke, and said that the troops would be in their prayers and thoughts until they return home. Billings also read a proclamation from the City of Point Pleasant regarding the troops.
Prior to the raising of the flag, 50 flags from U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito were presented to members of the 1092nd. Rev. Richard DeQuasie provided the benediction for the close of the ceremony.
The Marine Corps League along with the AMVETS will host a spaghetti dinner for the troops on Sunday, Feb. 21 at the National Guard Armory in Point Pleasant. The dinner will begin at 11:30 a.m.