Church offers support to troops
By James Peacemaker, Jr., Managing Editor
Mar 4, 2013, 15:16
photo by James Peacemaker, Jr. Staff Sgt. Jewrica Nugent’s daughter, Janay, holds a flag during a serivice by Mt. Calvary Baptist Church to show support for the military.
HOPEWELL — Staff Sgt. Jewrica Nugent will be shipping out to Afghanistan next month. For the longtime Hopewell resident, it will be a difficult year away from home.
But just as she will have fellow soldiers to back her up in the warzone, her husband and daughter will have support from their family and church on the homefront.
“To know that they are watching out for my husband and daughter and my mom and just keeping me prayed up and everything, that helps a lot,” she said.
photo by James Peacemaker, Jr. Staff Sgt. Jewrica Nugent sits with her husband, Eric.
Mt. Calvalry Baptist Church, a small church located just a block off Oaklawn Boulevard, showed their support by hosting a Military Appreciation Day on Sunday, honoring Nugent and others from the Virginia National Guard’s 1710th Transportation Company as well as others in the armed forces and veterans. Members of the congregation held small American flags with their Bibles as they sang uplifting songs and listened to the pastor’s booming voice.
photo by James Peacemaker, Jr. Jewrica Nugent’s commanding officer, Capt. Rodney Rhodes, attended the event.
Nugent’s commanding officer, Capt. Rodney Rhodes, who said he normally attends church in Dinwiddie, also attended the event to show his support.
The Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, received its mobilization order in August 2012. The company includes 160 soldiers from all over Virginia, including about 30 from the Richmond and Petersburg area. The company went to Fort Pickett in early February and spent much of the month training there.
photo by James Peacemaker, Jr. Church leaders gather people up front for a prayer.
The 1710th will spend 45 to 60 days training at Fort Hood, Texas, before heading to Afghanistan.
Nugent has spent 13 years with the Guard. She said her mother, father and stepfather were all in the armed forces.
It will be her second deployment overseas, with the first being in Iraq. The 1710th was in Iraq from May 2008 to February 2009, and conducted more than 75 missions, traveling more than 900,000 miles.
photo by James Peacemaker, Jr. Kendal Gravely holds an American flag.
Nugent is a truck driver for the National Guard, but as a soldier she is also trained to react to ambushes, handle casualties and avoid improvised explosive devices.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Morrison said that no matter what challenges Nugent faces, she will not be alone.
“When you start packing your gear and you are riding to the airport, God is with you. When you are on the plane and en route on your flight, God is on the plane. And the good news is when you arrive at your destination, God is there. ... You might not see him, but he’s there,” said.
photo by James Peacemaker, Jr. First Lady Brenda Morrison sits with Francisco Johnson Jr. and Francescia Lee Johnson.