Vidalia unveils monument to 1086th Transportation Company

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 14, 2004

VIDALIA, La. &045; Four months later, and the community is still honoring its soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Saturday afternoon, members of the 1086th Transportation Company gathered in the corner of the grounds of the old courthouse in Vidalia.

From fund-raisers and community support, the family readiness group for the 1086th Transportation Company out of Vidalia, purchased a monument to pay tribute to the company’s nine months in Iraq.

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&uot;It makes us feel real good, even though we got back in November, that they are still doing stuff for us,&uot; said Sgt. Jaqutia Hudson of Vidalia. &uot;I think it’s a great honor.&uot;

With family and friends gathered around, the troops waited patiently for the unveiling.

Company Commanders Capt. Jason Lott told those gathered about those nine months.

The company traveled about 350,000 miles, he said.

&uot;If it’s been on the news, we’ve been there,&uot; Lott said.

They put their lives on hold for those nine months to serve in the way, he said.

&uot;I don’t think I could tell you what they experienced and understand it,&uot; Lott said.

Lott said after seeing the conditions the people lived in, &uot;I know why we went over there. We did a great job.&uot;

Family support group organizer Tanya Jenkins made sure the company received its due honor.

&uot;I believe they deserve the very best,&uot; Jenkins said.

The community really came together to support the troops, Jenkins said, and she thanked them for their help making the monument a reality.

And, she thanked the soldiers, &uot;the men and women who sacrificed their lives.&uot;

But, Lt. Brian Stevens, the communications commander for the company, said Jenkins deserves the credit for the monument.

&uot;Our family support group made it easier&uot; to get back accustomed to home, Hudson said. &uot;They welcomed us with open arms.&uot;

The small group joined the Rev. Troy Thomas in singing &uot;My Country ’tis of Thee,&uot; followed by a prayer.

&uot;We will always be thankful for good men and women who will put their lives on the line to keep this country free,&uot; Thomas said.

Then, the flashes popped off as the troops gathered for a group shot and took turns reveling in the honor, taking individual pictures beside their name, now forever etched in history for their service.