Kentucky Thunder provides the soundtrack for Gov. Beshear’s Inauguration

Story by Staff Sgt. Steve Tressler, 138th Fires Brigade                                                                              Photos by SGT Matthew Boone, 138th Fires Brigade   

Soldiers of the 138th Fires Brigade prepare the 105mm Howitzers for the 19-gun salute for the Governor's Inauguration in Frankfort, Ky. Dec. 13.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — From something as small as a high school football game to something as internationally known as the Kentucky Derby, when you attend an event in the state of Kentucky you seem to notice cannon fire as the official start of it all. So why should the Governor’s inauguration be any different?

Although it seems simple enough, it’s not.

There is a lot of communication and intricate logistics to work through. That’s where Soldiers like Staff Sgt. J.C. Parsons and Staff Sgt. Bart Greenwood enter the picture. Before they get to have the fun of firing the guns amongst the civilian population, local law enforcement, fire and state authorities have to be made aware and ready to respond to inquiries from the curiosity of the public. But when the details are worked through, the Soldiers many years of experience with salute batteries provide an official and authoritative soundtrack to functions throughout the state..

For the Governors Inauguration the 105mm howitzers were staged at a lookout point high above the capitol and 138th Fires Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Brian F. Wertzler kicked of the 10 a.m. start to the festivities with the honorary fire!

138th Fires Brigade Commander, Lt. Col. Brian Wertzler (right) pulls the lanyard on the 105mm Howitzer to kick off the festivites at the Governor's Inauguration in Frankfort, Ky. Dec. 13.

BOOM! Let the day begin, Kentucky Thunder style!

“People drove by the point where we fired to watch, some honked horns and waved, some even yelled out ‘God Bless America.’ It was all pretty cool,” said Greenwood, who serves as the Salute Battery Chief.

At 1500 hours , that’s 3 p.m. to the civilians, the salute battery shot “19 rounds with 3 second intervals from three guns which is customary when honoring the Governor” said Greenwood.

And the troops favorite part?

The Soldiers on the point said they were most impressed by the delicious lunch provided to them by the Frankfort Capitol kitchen.

Staff Sgt. Bart Greenwood prepares to give the signal to fire the cannons for the 19-gun salute for the Governor's Inauguration in Frankfort, Ky. Dec. 13.

“That was the best box lunch I have ever tasted,” said Sgt. Matthew Boone, who serves as an Incentive Manager for Soldiers.

It can be as fun as a celebratory occasion like ‘Thunder over Louisville’ to as solemn of an occasion as a Soldier’s burial.

“We just hope that the people we are there to serve feel appreciative of our efforts to honor the occasion or the families involved” said Parsons.

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