Bank honors those in military

Published 5:00 am Monday, July 7, 2008

Joan Beasley of Wesson has three generations of soldiers in herfamily: her husband Glenn, her sons Steve and Dale, and hergrandson, Landon.

“The Fourth of July has to do with more than just firecrackersand barbecues,” she said, holding a picture of her husband as shestood in the lobby of Wesson’s Trustmark Bank. “It’s aboutfreedom.”

Wesson Trustmark Assistant Vice President Marilyn Britt said shefeels the same way, and that’s why she took Trustmark’s Red Whiteand Blue Week to heart, gathering all sorts of mementos of men andwomen who have dedicated themselves to serve in America’s ArmedForces.

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“We wanted to get pictures not only of our veterans but also of ouractive military servicemen,” she said. “These are all Wessonpeople, and we have several sets of generations in here too.”

The display, which Britt said would remain up through Friday, July11, features photos and memorabilia from as far back as World WarII. They would also see pictures of local soldiers serving today,such as U.S. Army SPC Landon Beasley, and Logan Carr and TylerBroome, both of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Britt said there are at least three families with more than onemilitary member featured on the tables in the Trustmark lobby, andeven more photos can be seen in the slideshow presentation on thelaptop computer that provides the patriotic music which sets themood in the lobby. The presentation was put together by the musicdirector at Sylvarena Baptist Church, Britt said.

Beasley, a former Trustmark employee herself, said she’s proud tosee local businesses supporting their soldiers of all ages anderas. Knowing there is support in the community makes the processof sending family members to war just a little easier.

Beasley said after watching her husband and sons go to war, thehardest of all was to send her grandson, who just got back from atour in Iraq. She said her son Dale, a nurse, may have to returnsoon.

“It’s so hard to sit home and watch them go off to war,” she said.”But they knew when they joined that they might be called to go.But you’re still never ready.”

In the corner of the display sits a large framed sketch on aneasel, and a closer look reveals a soldier in the desert, with thefigure of Jesus standing over him. Printed next to the sketch ofthe soldier is the 1939 Mary Stevens poem, “Footprints in theSand.”

In the poem, a man is looking back at his footprints in the sand ashe journeyed through life. There were two sets in places, and onein other places. Feeling he’d been abandoned when he needed supportthe most, he inquired of God why there was only one set of printsduring the toughest parts of his life, the Lord replies, “Duringyour times of trial and suffering … it was then that I carriedyou.”

Britt pointed out the comparison of the sand in the poem and thesand in the desert countries where today’s soldiers arefighting.

“That picture over there really touches your heart when you seeit,” Britt said. “Especially to know what all these people havebeen through, and Jesus has been looking over their shoulderthrough all the generations and wars we’ve seen.”

Britt said Trustmark’s Red White and Blue week is to honor peoplejust like the Beasley men, as well as all the other men and womenwho are serving or have served in America’s Armed Forces.

“I don’t think we can honor them enough, and this is just a smallway we can pay tribute to their sacrifice,” she said.