Buffalo Soldier to ride in Lafayette’s Heritage Parade on March 1

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Sgt. Maj. James Williams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — As the Heritage Parade gets set to ride on March 1, the community will be welcoming one of the last Buffalo Soldiers as a guest rider.

Lafayette Police Cpl. Bridgette Dugas reports Sgt. Maj. James Williams, 84, will be a guest rider with the police department’s Mounted Unit during the parade.

Williams enlisted in the Army at age 15 in 1950, where he served 21 years, including the Korean War and four tours in Vietnam.

According to the National Parks Service (NPS), Buffalo Soldiers were one of the all-black regiments established after the Civil War to help rebuild the country and participate in the “Indian Wars.” They also helped administrate some of America’s national parks.

“The Buffalo Soldier regiments went on to serve the U.S. Army with distinction and honor for nearly the next five decades,” according to the NPS. “With the disbandment of the 27th Cavalry on December 12, 1951, the last of the storied Buffalo Soldiers regiments came to an end.”

“The Lafayette Police Department is excited to have such a legend join our Mounted Unit for the upcoming parade,” said Dugas in a press release.

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