By Robert Blanchard
Lake Wales, Florida – The 325th Maintenance Company 25 Year Operation Desert Storm/Gulf War Reunion was held at the American Legion Post 71 in Lake Wales last week on Saturday August 13th.
Skydivers from Florida Skydiving Center parachuted in from the sky overhead to present an American flag at the start of the ceremony.
The flag was raised and then lowered to half-staff followed by a 21 gun salute and a military bugle playing Taps.
Guests and dignitaries then proceeded inside the American Legion for presentations, prayer and the tolling of the Honor Bell for fallen veterans from the 325th.
After the ceremony, attendees were treated to a buffet and dancing as well as a tour of the new facility in Lake Wales.
The first Gulf War, commonly known as operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, heralded in a new generation of warfare for the United States. It was the first time the US Military had to seriously flex its muscles since the conflict in Vietnam.
Sgt. Tracey Darlene Brogdon, the only Florida guardsman killed during Operation Desert Storm was a member of the 325th Maintenance Company, Florida Army National Guard, when she was called to active duty to serve in Operation Desert Storm.
Sgt. Brogdon served throughout the war and her unit was scheduled to come home shortly after her death on May 21, 1991.
She died in a vehicle accident just after the conclusion of hostilities.
Today the United States is still a strong and free country because of the dedication and sacrifice of American men and women who have fought in American battles and still continue to do so around the world.