Marines assist in the success of Mardi Gras

23 Mar 2011 | Lance Cpl. Joseph Altemus

This year’s Mardi Gras was a success due to the assistance of Marines with Marine Forces Reserve who donated time and effort in making sure everyone involved had a good time, while minimizing risks to their safety, Feb.26- March 8.

     The Marine Band New Orleans played a large role in this year’s Mardi Gras.

     “In addition to marching in parades, we provided logistical support to our visiting bands from Parris Island and the 2nd Marine Division,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Hunter, the bandmaster for Marine Band New Orleans.

     “We participated in 13 parades in Slidell, Mandeville, Metairie, on the West Bank and on the East Bank,” Hunter added.

     Marines from MarForRes helped set up bleachers and balconies for spectators of the parades. 

     “They (the Marines) provided support for the bleacher and hotel set up phase and provided security so Marines and family members could have a safe and enjoyable Mardi Gras season,” said Master Sgt. Ronson Rajopa, the supply chief for Headquarters Battalion, MarForRes.

     Along with setting up and helping prepare for the festivities to come, the Marines also provided security for the band during parades and for those sitting in the bleachers.

     “Anytime is the right time to perform for the American people,” said Hunter.  “We need to remind them that, while they party, there are Marines at the tip of the spear, protecting their freedom.

     After the final bead was thrown and the last song played the Marines tore down the bleachers and balconies and returned home safely, said Rajopa.

     Now the wait and anticipation begins for next year.