Poplarville to hold send-off parade for Bravo Company

Published 10:47 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Poplarville area is once again preparing to send off its citizen soldiers to the service of their country for the second time during the last few years.

Poplarville’s Bravo Company, of the 1-155 Combined Arms Battalion of the Mississippi National Guard, is leaving at 1:30 p.m., Monday for Camp Shelby in preparation for eventual deployment to Iraq, says Battalion Chaplain Toby Lofton.

In December 2007, the company was placed on alert for deployment to Iraq this year.

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A parade featuring the buses with the departing soldiers is scheduled for approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday. It will escorted from the armory to Interstate 59 by city and area law enforcement officers and vehicles.

At 11:30 a.m., family members will have time to spend with the unit before its departure from the armory on Mississippi Highway 26 West. Although primarily for family members, the armory will be open to the public and anyone is welcome to stop by, Lofton said.

According to information from the local Family Readiness Group. The buses will load at the armory at approximately 1 p.m.

After leaving the armory, the buses and their escort will travel along the Miss. 26 Bypass past the city park to Interstate 59 and head to Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg.

Residents are encouraged to safely line both sides of Miss. 26 from the armory all the way to the interstate.

The city has already placed some flags around town and these will stay up until after the unit has left. People are encouraged to wear red, white and blue or other signs of support for the unit, a city spokesperson said.

The Family Readiness Group also is asking the support of all businesses and residents by placing flags and yellow ribbons throughout the city and surrounding area.

The Readiness Group will meets at city park at 10 a.m. Thursday to finalize plans for supporting the departure and anyone can come to assist, said Janice Smith with the support group.

In addition to the readiness group, the Rotary Club of Poplarville and the North Pearl River Ministerial Association have signed formal commitments to provide support for the soldiers and their families during the deployment.