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Saluting Soldiers

12th annual Springfield BridgeWalk celebrates and affirms community support of Fort Belvoir’s soldiers.

The Ft. Belvoir Fife and Drum Corps leads a contingent of soldiers, civic leaders and community participants across the bridge during the 12th annual Springfield Bridge Walk on Aug. 27.

The Ft. Belvoir Fife and Drum Corps leads a contingent of soldiers, civic leaders and community participants across the bridge during the 12th annual Springfield Bridge Walk on Aug. 27. Photo contributed

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The Fort Belvoir Color Guard and the Fife and Drum Corp led participants on a march across Veterans Bridge during the 11th annual Springfield BridgeWalk on Tuesday, Aug. 28. Participants included members of Springfield’s American Legion Post 176, VFW Post 7327, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Belvoir Motor Cycle Department and the Buffalo Solders Motor Cycle Club.

For just a few minutes every year, the hum of constant traffic halts on Veteran’s Bridge in downtown Springfield as the Ft. Belvoir Fife and Drum Corps leads a contingent of soldiers, civic leaders and community participants across the bridge during the annual Springfield Bridge Walk.

“This evening's bridge walk is especially significant to all of us because we are honoring our good friends from Fort Belvoir by renewing the Army Community Covenant,” said Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee) on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

BridgeWalk 2013 Participants and Sponsors

American Legion Post 176

VFW Post 7327 and its Ladies Auxiliary

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce

Fort Belvoir, including LTC Deon Green, (National Anthem soloist), the color guard,

and sponsors, food and door prize contributors:

Vornado/Springfield Town Center

Red Hot & Blue

Springfield Days Committee

VFW Post 7327

Hilltop

Calibre

Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce

C&E Real Estate Services

Heart to Heart Catering

Party Mix DJ

Metro Run & Walk

Lake Accotink Park

The Woman’s Club of Springfield

Talk of the Town Gourmet Gifts

TAGS

Felix and Oscar

Homewood Suites

“To me this walk symbolizes the renewal of the relationship we have with the Springfield community,” said Col. Gregory Gadson, who in 2012 became the new garrison commander of Fort Belvoir, which houses 46,000 soldiers, civilians and their families.

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Crestwood Elementary students join the community celebration.

In 2007, while serving in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Gadson lost both of his legs when he was injured by a car bomb. He also served during Operation Desert Storm, in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Gadson, a 20-year Army veteran who has been awarded three Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart, joined Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee), Sen. George Barker (D-39), Del. Vivian Watts (D-39) and other community leaders in signing the Army Community Covenant, which affirms the community’s support for the Armed Forces.

During the event, McKay recognized American Legion Post 176 Commander James Matlock and thanked him for all that the American Legion does for veterans and the community.

Other key officials from Fort Belvoir included Lt. Col. Brian Zarchin, Fort Belvoir Headquarters battalion commander; and Command Sergeant Major Carolyn Reynolds, headquarters battalion command sergeant major; and Ron Adelphi, the U.S. Army Reserve ambassador for Virginia.

McKay also welcomed members of the Fort Belvoir Hospital, and the Mount Vernon Civil Air Patrol who joined the bridge walk this year, and thanked American Legion Post 176 General Manager Bob Eidsvoog, JP Forry, and others from Post 176 for their assistance in making the BridgeWalk happen.

McKay, who hosts the annual Lee District event, read the covenant to the crowd of about 130 people gathered on the grounds of Springfield’s American Legion Post 176 after the ceremony:

“We the Community, recognize...

  • The commitment Soldiers and their Families are making every day.

  • The strength of Soldiers comes from the strength of their families.

  • The strength of Families is supported by the strength of the Community.

  • The strength of the Community comes from the support of Employers, Educators, Civic and Business leaders and its Citizens.”

Lt. Col. Deon Green led the crowd in singing the National Anthem followed by Supervisor McKay, who led the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. During the signing, the Kings Park Concert Band played a medley of patriotic music, after which guests enjoyed light refreshments and door prizes.