America’s Dairyland flew some of their best Soldiers down to the Sunshine State to accompany their fellow infantrymen, as they work to assist the citizens of Florida, amidst the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Thanks to the efforts of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the state of Florida and the Florida National Guard bestowed the Florida State Active Duty ribbon to the Soldiers of the badger state at Homestead Air Reserve Base Sept. 16.
Lt. Col. Brion Aderman, commander of the 2nd Battalion,127th Infantry Regiment, was honored to have his unit represent the National Guard’s spirit of brotherhood and teamwork.
“This is a very significant mobilization for the Wisconsin National Guard,” Aderman said. “We’re always ready and always there and we’ve proven. We answered the call on very short notice, our sisters put out the call and we responded rapidly.
Aderman shared that this unique situation proves that the National Guard is a cornerstone and a powerful component of the Department of Defense.
Though Wisconsin sent Army National Guard troops to help with the Hurricane Katrina response in 2005, this effort was larger in scope.
“We’re not a hurricane state,” Aderman said. “We mostly deal in blizzards, flooding and tornados, but the training that we did in those events applies to all mission sets.”
Assigned to Broward County, the 2-127 was assigned an area with the responsibility to support points of distribution operations, security and debris removal to help the county’s residential neighborhood return to normal.
“The most rewarding thing is the citizens coming up and thanking us with hugs and gratitude,” said Aderman. “This past week has helped build relationships.”
As a show of gratitude, Col. John Haas, commander of the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, pinned the Florida State Active Duty ribbon on Aderman during an award ceremony for the battalion. The ribbon is awarded to members who, under military orders, participate in an active state service while assisting civil authorities.
“We are a family that makes up a nation and a fighting force,” Haas said. “It’s never more evident than when you have a state like Wisconsin and Soldiers from that community that take a break from their own civilian lives to come down and lend a helping hand to their Florida brethren. It was my great privilege to be able to award them with the Florida State Active Duty ribbon for their participation in helping Florida get back on its feet.”