Local guardsmen still training

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

NASHVILLE -- Witnessing the command change at Tennessee National Guard headquarters Saturday was a colonel in direct command over soldiers who recently left Lewisburg, bound for Camp Shelby, Miss., and then Iraq.

"They're getting some very good, realistic training," Col. Jeff Holmes of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment said just before Brig. Gen. Max Haston, a former commander of the 278th Armored Cavalry, succeeded Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett as adjutant general of the state guard.

"It's stressful training," Holmes replied when asked what friends and family here should know about the troops. "It's preparing them for deployment. Time is progressing fast...

"Everybody is humbled by the local communities' support, for the financial assistance to let them visit for Christmas," the colonel said. "It makes the soldiers comfortable, knowing they're not doing this by themselves, that they've got the community behind them."

Holmes is "a traditional guardsman" with a civilian job, he said. He's an architect with the Brentwood-based firm of Hart Freeland Roberts. Holmes is a resident of Murfreesboro.