National Guard armory receives new name, celebrates legacy left behind

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Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 6:13 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 7:21 PM EDT
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HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - The Harlan Kentucky National Guard Armory has a new name.

On Thursday, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the new 1st Sgt. Ottis Capps Harlan National Guard Armory.

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Capps served with the National Guard for 30 years.

“So, they connected the general population of Harlan County to connect to the Kentucky National Guard, back at Frankfort, was through First Sergeant Ottis Capps,” said Executive Director for the Department of Military Affairs Charles T. Jones.

Jones said it is named after Capps because of the role he played in the community. He said Capps touched the lives of many.

“Through that, First Sergeant Ottis Capps all of the young men that he touched in this community and the lives, it’s just a honor to recognize him, to recognize the sacrifices of the family and recognize the honor and the patriotism of just this community alone,” he explained.

Adjutant Gen. for the Kentucky National Guard Maj. Gen. Hal Lamberton said, the community’s attendance shows just how he changed their lives.

“That’s really just a classic model of what I would describe as the National Guard, not just Kentucky, but across all 54 states and territories,” said Lamberton.

Lamberton explained that the next generation will see his name every time they walk into the armory.

“If it weren’t for he and folks like him in the guard, we wouldn’t have had that foundation to become what we are today. So, the unit will still be here, we’ll have new soldiers all of the time, but the foundation and legacy is already established,” he explained.