Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Hotel holds crawfish boil for national guard after year of deployment

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BATON ROUGE- In March of 2020 National Guard troops were deployed for what they thought would be weeks or maybe months but here they are a year later, far from home, but in a place that's close to it. 

At the Embassy hotel where many national guard troops are staying, they held a crawfish boil to thank those that serve their country.  

“Well in Louisiana if you wanna get a bunch of people in the same room the best thing to do is have a crawfish boil,” said Director of Sales, Barry Hughes. 
There was crawfish, potatoes, corn, jambalaya and sweets all for the National Guard.

“This is just our way of saying thank you to them for all that you do,” said Hughes. 

That thank you is deeper than just some food, in 2020 the nation was struck by the pandemic leaving many in fear and hotels eerie. 

“To suddenly you find yourself in the middle of March with not a single reservation on the book it's kinda like the Overlook Hotel in The Shining where it's just desolate,” said Hughes. 

It wasn't long before the Embassy was asked to house more than 200 National Guard members that would help with the pandemic. 

"It was quite a heartwarming moment to see everyone save the day and rescue us,” said Hughes.

They were first told two weeks, then months, and here they are 365 days later, away from home but what helped is a hotel that treated them like family. 

"We are, we do everything together we brush our teeth together, we go to sleep together, we do everything together….we are deeper than family,” said one soldier. 

It was little things making a difference in such a crazy year, then a crawfish boil as the perfect breath of fresh air. 

"It's motivation to keep us going,” said one soldier. 

"It’s kinda like a reset for a lot of us, all we do is work, work, and missions. So, this is a bit of home, most of us are students, so to be able to sit have a drink with friends it's good,” said another soldier. 

Far from home but feels just like it. 

The guard is still assisting with vaccinations and other things in the city, they are unsure when they will head back home but will be here to help until then.


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