A longstanding feature of the Oklahoma Army National Guard in Poteau received a public farewell at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Both Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen and local residents convened at the Poteau National Guard Armory at 1501 S. McKenna St. for a closing ceremony for the facility. The armory housed Bravo Troop, 1st Battalion, 180th Cavalry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard.
Capt. Roy Newnam said Sept. 30 will be the unit’s last day at the facility. Lt. Col. Lindy White, spokesperson for the Oklahoma National Guard, said it will be moving to the Armed Forces Reserve Center in McAlester, Okla.
When asked why the facility is closing, Newnam had this to say:
“… Those decisions are made way above us,” Newnam said. “We’re soldiers, we follow orders, and due to the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) system at the high level, they decided this was going to be … the armory that’s going to be closing at this time.”
Newnam said the armory was opened on July 5, 1955.
Sunday’s ceremony also included the moving of the memorial of Sgt. Buddy James “Doc” Hughie. Hughie was killed in action while deployed with the 180th Calvary Regiment to Afghanistan in 2007. He was the second Oklahoma Army National Guardsman who died in combat since Sept. 11, 2001.
“We wanted to commemorate Buddy Hughie,” Newnam said. “We wanted to do the best we could. … (The memorial is) going to be moving down to the McAlester armory. We want to make sure that we have him represented there. …”
First Lt. Christopher Buck said during remarks at the event that the memorial…
click here to read more.