Kentucky Guard continues to support Thunder

Story by: Sgt. Brandy Mort, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

140412-Z-GN092-590

Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Crump from the 138th Fires Brigade oversees Soldiers firing a salvo of Howitzer 105mm rounds from the 2nd street bridge in Louisville, Ky., during the 25th annual Thunder Over Louisville fireworks and air show April 12, 2014. Members of the Kentucky Guard highlighted the evening’s entertainment of music and firework displays.(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

LOUISVILLE Ky., — Nearly 200 Soldiers gathered together as more than 750,000 people packed the streets of Louisville for the annual Thunder Over Louisville as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival held April 12.

Guardsmen from across the Commonwealth along with the Louisville Metro Police Department served and protected the city of Louisville during the event. No officer was left without a civilian counterpart. This year’s event was anticipated to be one of the largest Thunder Over Louisville events ever.

To see all the photos from this event, please click HERE.

Staff Sgt. Jeremy Hawkins, from the 223rd Military Police Company, was assigned the duty to control traffic alongside an LMPD officer as the massive crowds began to flood the streets by the waterfront. He was honored to work with his civilian equivalent.

20140412_Z_EJ272_0253

Kentucky National Guard Military Police Officers patrol the grounds Louisville with officers of the Louisville Metro Police Department April 12, during Thunder Over Louisville. (US Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Brandy Mort)

“It gives us a chance to support our local community as well as having the unique opportunity to work with civilian police officers,” said Hawkins, “When people see both sets of uniforms, I think they will have a better sense of security knowing that we have put forth a huge effort to keep them protected.”

Events like Thunder give Soldiers a yearly a chance to put their training to work and also show what the National Guard is all about, working hand in hand with local authorities to protect our home front.

“This is an event we conduct every year,” said 1st Lt. Jacob Lee, Company Commander with the 223rd MP Company, “Working with local officials is a great experience for our Guardsmen. It gives them the opportunity to work with someone who patrols these streets and protects them every day.”

20140412_Z_EJ272_0272

Spc. Samantha Haynes, Information Technology Specialist with the 138th Signal Company prepares to fire a 105mm Howitzer during Thunder Over Louisville, April 12. Haynes has grown up watching the fireworks and was honored to be able to fire the cannon. (US Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Brandy Mort)

Whether it’s your first Thunder Over Louisville or your 15th, this  event is something you will remember for years to come. Spc. Samantha Haynes, Information Technology Specialist with the 138th Signal Company, has grown up watching the air and fireworks show since she was young and was honored to have the opportunity to shoot the 105mm Howitzer cannon.

“When I was younger, I would always love hearing the cannons,” said Haynes, “It feels great to be able to pull the cord and make other people feel the same excitement I did when I was their age.”

As another Thunder came to an end, the effort put forth by the Kentucky National Guard and the Louisville Metro Police Department to serve and protect the Commonwealth of Kentucky shined almost as bright as the fireworks.

“Without the Kentucky National Guard, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” said Sgt. William Patterson, LMPD officer, second in command over traffic. “The guard has been with us for so long that without them we wouldn’t keep having successful events such as today.”

 

About kentuckyguard