BARSTOW — More than 200 soldiers sang while they marched the 3-mile uphill trek from the Harvey House to the Veterans Home for the 16th Annual Road March on Wednesday morning.
In perfect formation, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment marched from the 1st Street Bridge to Main Street and later on to Barstow Road where they reached their destination at the Veterans Home.
Spectators stood by waving and showing support while police cop cars and officers helped control traffic and clear the route for the troops. The soldiers were greeted with a host of community leaders, residents and veterans.
Col. Lanier Ward, the commander of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, said the event is a good opportunity for young soldiers to meet veterans and learn about their military experiences.
“This has been ongoing since 1997 and it’s been one of the highlights for both Fort Irwin and for the Regiment since that time period,” he said. “Because you’re in a time of giving during the holiday season, it’s a chance for us to come up and say thanks to those who have gone on before us.”
The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment are the Opposing Force for training Army units on rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin and are arguably the best trained mechanized military unit in the world, according to the unit’s press release.
As they entered the veteran’s homes, beads of sweat dripped visibly down some of the soldiers’ faces.
“It was good, it was long, but worth it,” PFC. James Williams said about the march.
Councilwoman Carmen Hernandez stood by with Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre and Councilman Timothy Silva.
“I always come to see them march,” Hernandez said. “I think it’s fantastic that there’s a connection between the military and the Veterans Home that continues to this day.”
At the end of the march, the soldiers entered the building in a straight line and filled the dining hall and reception area for lunch. The group also presented the home with a check and banner.
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