A Freedom Salute ceremony for more than 170 Tennessee National Guardsmen from Tiptonville and Dresden was held Saturday in Union City.
The program honored not only National Guard soldiers, but families and individuals or groups in their respective communities who went “above and beyond” in helping units and families during deployment.
Maj. Gen. Mike Maloan, Deputy Commander, Joint Force Headquarters, addressed the soldiers, families and guests at the ceremony.
It was held at the Union City Civic Auditorium, 1311 High School Drive.
The West Tennessee Guardsmen were each presented with a beautiful, cased American flag, a ceremonial coin, medallion, and lapel pin commemorating service to their country. Guardsmen who have served more than one tour of duty also received special recognition.
Among those were Staff Sgt. John Quarles, a full-time Guardsman better known as “Sgt. Q,” who has served five tours of duty in the Middle East.
The prestigious Minuteman Statue and a large, framed, American flag mosaic was presented to individuals and organizations or businesses in the community for their outstanding support of the unit and families during the deployment.
The Dresden and Tiptonville units, comprising the 1171st Transportation Company, deployed to Kuwait in December 2009 and returned home in December 2010.
While deployed, the 1171st vehicles logged more than 1.4 million miles, primarily in Iraq.