Supporting Community In Unique Independence Day Celebration
by D.C. National Guard
July 7, 2019
The D.C. National Guard stood tall with over 800 strong in brutal heat and pouring rain to support the 2019 Independence Day activities in our nation’s capital. For some Soldiers and Airmen, it was another memorable way to help the community. For others, it was a first.
July 4, 2019 - Senior Airman Ryan Hotte, 113th Security Forces Squadron, talks on radio during the festivities in Washington, D.C. Burleson is one of nearly 800 D.C. National Guard members providing support to the D.C. Metropolitan Police and United States Park Police over the holiday. D.C. National Guard photo by USAF Staff Sgt. Anthony Small)
“It’s my first mission. It’s exciting and gratifying to be out here serving the community,” said Spc. Evander McLean, 257th Army National Guard Band drummer. “Not a lot of people get to do this.”
Supporting the community through service also spans generations. Senior Master Sgt. Allen Hotte, 113th Communications Flight Cyber Systems Branch Chief, has four children that currently serve with him in the D.C. National Guard.
“I am proud of my children and the people they’ve become,” said Allen Hotte. “I’m proud that they are serving their country along with me.”
One of his children provided security around the national mall throughout the day. Due to three previous deployments, it was his first opportunity to serve in this Independence Day mission.
“Ever since being a kid I wanted to join, especially seeing my dad in his uniform over the many years,” said Senior Airman Ryan Hotte, a security specialist from the 113th Wing. “And when they asked for volunteers for this mission, it was easy to raise my hand.”
Beginning before dawn and until midnight, D.C. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen worked alongside the U.S. Park Police, Metro Transit Police and the U.S. Capitol Police to ensure a safe and secure celebration throughout the district.
“As we do each year, the D.C. National Guard takes pride in supporting the celebration of our nation’s Independence,” said Army Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, D.C. National Guard commanding general. “We are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable event for all attendees.”
In addition to the core mission, the Soldiers and Airmen were sometimes seen handing out water, giving directions and taking smiling photos with those who eagerly asked.
It was more than a military presence, it was a true community experience.
“My family has this natural pride and love for the D.C. National Guard and the community,” said Ryan Hotte. “Not only for helping the community but for how the community helps us.”
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