SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Over two years have passed since St. Patrick’s Day paradegoers overtook the City of Savannah. While everyone is excited to get back out for the festivities, it’s even more special for those in uniform.

“It’s pretty amazing. I’ve marched in the parade twice before, 2015 and 2016, the reaction from the crowd is overwhelming, is the best way to describe it. Just an outpouring of love for the unit, an outpouring of love for the soldiers. It’s pretty inspirational to be a part of,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Brawley.

For these military men and women, the sense of community received from participating in events like these makes their job all the more worth it.

“I don’t know if some of our other Army communities are quite intertwined like that and I don’t speak for them for sure, but I do know Savannah,” said Erik Vanek, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Commander. “I’ve been here from 2003 to 2009 and then this tour as well, and I can just speak to the amazing bond we do have here specifically with the Coastal Georgia area with the 3rd Infantry Division.”

With all that is happening in the world, Coastal Georgia’s own 3rd Infantry Division was called to serve and protect those overseas. The 3rd Infantry Division members who remained in Savannah were greeted by strong reactions and a load of patriotism.

“Yeah I think the reaction is going to be stronger than normal for a couple of reasons. I think the pandemic, we haven’t executed the parade for a couple years. I think people want to see the military in public, they’re ready to see some of America’s heroes,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Brawley.