Message from Gail Loeffler
Linda: Alpha Company Captain Ed Hollis, 1LT Carlos Guerrero, SSG Asa Westcott and Specialist Robert Mitchell came to Sarasota on May 5 and were treated to a hero's welcome.
A motorcycle escort from the Sarasota Police Department picked them up at the Homewood Suites (which the City provided for them) with 4 Lexus SUVs provided by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota, and drivers. They were taken to St. Martha's School where they were met with 400 kids standing in the driveway leading to the school waiving flags. They then went into the classroom and were honored with poems, prayers and responded to questions. The kids loved it! The class then escorted them to their cars.
The police escort then took them to the City boatramps where they were treated to a ride on the City's police boats for a bayside tour. One of the soldiers had never been in a boat...and this one is one of those Miami Vice type of police boats. They were then escorted to City Hall where a reception was held in their honor in the City hall lobby. They posed for pictures with the City Commission and city officials. Two of our County Commissioners also attended.
Captain Hollis presented the City with a beautiful plaque in appreciation of the City's support, and he showed a slide show documenting the troops activities in Afghanistan. After this the Mayor presented him with a key to the City. We also took this opportunity to thank our City veterans.
ABC News 7 - local affiliate - and our SNN news TV station covered the events, as well as Clear Channel broadcast a segment about the event and our local government access channel covered it.
All in all it was a wonderful day, and I'm sending you some pictures. What a wonderful organization you have!