Louisiana National Guardsmen honored in award ceremony

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The men and women of the Louisiana Army National Guard's 756th Medical Company were honored Sunday afternoon.

"To me you're an elite group of people," said Major General Glenn H. Curtis.

In July, the 756th and other units assigned for support returned from their most recent tour in Afghanistan and for many like Sergeant Megan Vicknair who has made two tours overseas, the deployments have made a difference.

"I think we've done, we've done a good positive influence over there and I'm just hoping their people can continue it after the draw down and that we've made enough influence in that's they want to keep in their country for their people," said Vicknair.

Of course it's nothing compared to the influence they make at home says Melanie Thornton whose husband Justin is a captain with the 756th.

"Just being back here this weekend is a reminder of that of how important this unit and this family is and of course we're really happy that they're back. A lot of the burden is on us back home but the majority of the burden is on them," said Thornton.

There are approximately 11,000 Guardsmen and women in Louisiana and while most of their service is on domestic soil, about 24,000 have been deployed overseas since 2002. 

"You have your ups and downs but you have a dedication and inner drive and it sustained me. I just enjoy the people I'm with and couldn't ask for a better tour with the 756th," said Captain Bradley Vessel.

"I've reenlisted a couple times since 2002, since my first tour and I love it. This has been the best experience of my life it really has," added Vicknair.

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