A Toast to Saint Barbara

Story by Staff Sgt. Fredrick Varney, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Kentucky Guardsmen and Family members from the 138th Fires Brigade celebrate the 25th annual Saint Barbara Dining Out at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort, Ky., Nov. 5 (Photo by Spc. Lauren Womack, 138th Fires Brigade)

FRANKFORT, Ky.— More than 300 Soldiers and their Families from the Kentucky National Guard’s 138th Fires Brigade held their 25th annual Saint Barbara Dining Out at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort, Ky., Nov. 5.

“It’s a wonderful tradition that we engage in every year to pay tribute to Saint Barbara,” said Maj. Franklin L. Jones, Assistant Simulations Officer for the Headquarters 138th Fires Brigade.

According to Jones, Saint Barbara was an early Christian saint and martyr during the 3rd century in Nicomedia of Asia Minor.  Because of her extraordinary beauty, her father locked her away in a tower.  Observing the magnificent beauty of the land while imprisoned, Saint Barbara converted to Christianity and was baptized.  After her father learned of the religious conversion, he ordered that she be taken on a high mountain to be beheaded  Consequently, as her father walked down from the mountain he was struck by lightning.

Saint Barbara became regarded as the sainted patroness of those in danger of thunderstorms, fires, and explosions.  Due to the poor reliability of cannons and misfires, artillerymen have sought Saint Barbara was for protection.  Throughout the years, the Field Artillery community has enjoyed the traditional dining out to commemorate Saint Barbara, the Patroness of Field Artillery.

Kentucky Guardsmen attend the 25th Annual Saint Barbara Dining out at the Capital Plaza in Frankfort, Ky., Nov. 5 (photo by Spc. Lauren Womack, 138th Fires Brigade)

“This ceremony provides us with a great opportunity to comes together and take part in fellowship, while also remembering those Soldiers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in support of the Global War on Terrorism.”

Jones said attendance for this year’s event had surpassed previous numbers because of the support from enlisted personnel, specifically the junior-enlisted Soldiers.

“I am very proud to be a part of this wonderful occasion tonight in honoring Saint Barbara.  The support has been overwhelming and I commend our Kentucky National Guard Soldiers for a job well done.”

Kentucky Guardsman 1st Sgt. Ernie Conyers, Alpha Company 103rd Brigade Support Battalion first sergeant, and his wife Rachel take time for a photo opportunity during the 138th Fires Brigade 25th annual Saint Barbara Dining Out at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort, Ky., Nov. 5. (photo by Spc. Lauren Womack, 138th Fires Brigade)

An awards presentation followed the dining out with two members of the order being inducted into the distinguished Ancient Order of Saint Barbara.  Both Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Culver, 38th Infantry Division Commander and full-time Kentucky National Guard Joint Forces Deputy Adjutant General, and Brig. Gen. Joseph Richie, Deputy Adjutant General and Commander, Land Component Command received the prestigious award for having achieved long-term, exceptional service within the field artillery.

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