Today, at Legends Field in Tampa, there was a mobilization farewell ceremony for the 317th Military Police Battalion and the 810th Military Police company

the ceremony began with the bringing in of the colors, the American flag and the flag of the US Army. Following that there was the singing of the National Anthem by Melanie Boulay, then a prayer by Army chaplain Stanley Puckett.

United States congressman Jim Davis was the first of many speakers to address the troops and their families. He began by expressing gratitude to the brave men and women of the armed forces and their families for the sacrifices they are making for their country. He also commented on the continueing debate about the best way to disarm Saddam Hussein ROLL TAPE Congressman Davis also reaffirmed the countries commitment to provide for the families of servicemen and women ROLL TAPE

The next person to address the troops and their families was Major General Michael Mayo. He began by calling the troops and their families Great American heroes. He assured the families of the troops that they will be able to e-mail their loved ones in the armed forces on a daily basis, And that the troops will be returned home as soon as possible. Gen Mayo went on to encourage the troops by making a connection between what they are about to do in Iraq and the war on terrorism. ROLL TAPE

Colonel Robert W. Kenyon, commander 641st Area Support Group addressed the troops and their families next. He described the mission of the armed forces as one of peace and democracy. ROLL TAPE

Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas P. Navetta Commander 317th Military Police Battalion, thanked the troops and their families, and also discussed the need for them to know they are doing the right thing. ROLL TAPE

The last person to speak was New York Yankees pitcher Roger Flemins. He also thanked the troops and their families for their sacrifice. He talked about his trip to the Persian Gulf to thank the Troops and what it meant to him. He also talked about how upset it makes him that people do not fully support the possible war on Iraq. He ended by saying that the troops are the ultimate team players.

For WMNF News Im Kevin Siebel

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