By RORYE O’CONNOR
MT. VERNON — —
At least one Mt. Vernon native will be a part of the inauguration today.
Maj. Brent A. Hampton, a U.S. Marine, will march in the Inaugural Parade in front of a contingency of Marines.
In front of the group of Marines, there will be a Colonel followed by two officers, one of which will be Hampton, followed by three more officers and the main group of Marines, said his father, John Hampton.
“We feel very proud of him,” he said. “We think it’s an honor. Very few people from Southern Illinois have probably marched in that parade.”
Hampton is a 1988 graduate of Mt. Vernon Township High School and served as an enlisted Marine from 1990 to 1994, according to information provided by his father. He served in the first Gulf War before going on to graduate from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1996.
After reentering the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001, Hampton received his commission and deployed three times, to Djibouti, to Fallujah and most recently from Sept. 2009-2010 as the assistant team chief and intelligence advisor of Iraq Marine Training Team -01, which trained and advised the Iraq Marine Brigade in South Umm Qasr, Iraq.
Maj. Hampton is currently stationed at Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., where he has been the commanding officer of Guard Company since October 2010. He was also Parade Commander of the 2012 parade season, held each Friday night during the summer at the Marine Corps Barracks. This includes the Silent Drill Team, the U.S. Marine Band, also known as “The President’s Own,” and the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
He alternated with another Marine as being parade commander each weekend, his father said.
His family has had the privilege of being able to see the Marine Corps Barracks parades.
“We was there last May,” John Hampton said. “We watched the parade. It’s the greatest show on Earth.”
His parents are John and Barbara Hampton of rural Bluford, and his wife, Josie, is originally from Prestonburg, Ky. He and his wife are the parents of two daughters, Adrianne Bays of Wilmington, N.C., and Autumn Dixon of rural Dahlgren.