Thursday, July 07, 2011

Township honors local Marine in Fourth of July parade

From the Upper Township Gazette -

Township honors local Marine in Fourth of July parade

Written by Columb Higgins
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 14:43

STRATHMERE – Upper Township honored one of its own Monday when U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew Loesch joined the annual Fourth of July parade in Strathmere.

Loesch rode in the parade on the back of a truck with members of the Upper Township Committee. He returned from Helmand province in Afghanistan three weeks ago.
Helmand province is in southern Afghanistan. It has been the scene of much of the fighting between U.S. forces and the Taliban since President Barack Obama ordered an increase of 30,000 additional forces in 2009.
Loesch, 20, is a member of the 8th Engineering Support Battallion. He helped provide security for construction equipment which was building roads in the province, he said.
“I was a turret gunner,” he said. “We defended the equipment that they used to build the roads and other things.”
His time home did not last long. The day after the Fourth of July parade he was due back at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Loesch will train there with his unit in preparation for another likely deployment, he said.
“We are pretty much ready to go,” said Loesch.
Loesch’s father, Ken, said his son was exhausted when he returned to the United States on June 3. The Marines took a 24-hour flight back to Camp Lejeune and his son looked tired but “he also looked great,” said Ken.
“It was great to see him,” he said. “He was definitely happy to be back. He bought himself his first new car and rested up and spent some time with family.”
Loesch has been a Marine for two years and has two years to go, said Ken.
“It was something he wanted to do,” he said. “He went in after high school. His grandfather was a Marine in the 1950’s. He served during the Korean War.”
Loesch was born in Philadelphia but his family moved to Upper Township in time for him to attend Ocean City High School. He graduated from high school in 2009.

Mayor Richard Palombo said he was honored to have Loesch aboard during the Fourth of July parade.
“It was exiting to have Andrew with us,” he said. “You’ve got to give all the credit to him and the soldiers like him on a day like this. It’s a credit to his dedication to serve his country.”
Palombo said the Strathmere parade was a success as it is every year.
“I want to thank the Strathmere Improvement Association for putting it on every year,” said Palombo. “It really is something to look forward to, this year more than most.”

Also from the Upper Township Gazette - Strathmere Fourth of July Parade winners

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