Tuesday, June 19, 2007

U.S. Soldiers celebrate Army’s 232nd birth

U.S. Army Soldiers move to the UH-60 Black Hawk after searching the area for items of interest during an aerial response force mission, Iraq, March 31. Soldiers are assigned to the 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway.
Friday, 15 June 2007
BAGHDAD — The United States Army celebrated its birthday worldwide Thursday.
U.S. Soldiers marked the 232nd Army birthday through a variety of events including flag ceremonies, organized runs and re-enlistments.
“Since our Nation’s founding, members of the United States Army have answered the call in time of America’s need,” said U.S. President George W. Bush in his message to all U.S. Soldiers. “These brave citizens have triumphed over brutal enemies, liberated continents and answered the prayers of millions around the globe.”
At Camp Victory, Iraq, Task Force 3rd Medical Command Soldiers celebrated with a flag raising ceremony.
“For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation’s strength and unity,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Virgilene Davis, assistant G-1 Noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “The American flag has been a prominent icon in our national history.”
Soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., celebrated the Army’s birthday with its 11th annual ‘Army Birthday 10-miler’ where approximately 900 runners showed up at 6:00 a.m. to participate.
Gen. Richard A. Cody, the U.S. Army vice chief of staff, gave the participants some words of encouragement shortly before the race began.
"There's no better way to start the day at the home of the Airborne," said Cody. "There's no better way to start celebrating the Army's 232nd Birthday than with a little 'shuffle' to see who's strong and who is Airborne Army Strong," referring to the moral fiber and determination every Soldier carries.
Donna M. Palisca managed to make an effort to squeeze time in to celebrate the Army birthday and became the overall women’s champion of the Fort Bragg Army Birthday 10-miler timed at 1:07:21 before going on with her day.
"My goal was to break 70 minutes," said Palisca. "In three hours my husband is deploying to Iraq, so I wanted to get back to see him off."
While some Soldiers enjoyed the celebrations, others decided to honor the Army with additional service.
Forty-nine Task Force Marne Soldiers at 3rd Infantry Division headquarters in Baghdad celebrated by re-enlisting, said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Samantha M. Stryker, who is with the unit’s public affairs office.
“Today’s Soldiers symbolize the nobility of service,” said Acting Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, U.S. Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. and Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, through their ‘2007 Army Birthday Message.’ “Today’s Soldiers are motivated by an unwavering belief that they will be victorious on the battlefield because we have fought this way since 1775 and always will.”
“While the Army has much work ahead of us, it has much to be proud of and to celebrate,” they said.
(U.S. Army story compiled by Spc. Carl N. Hudson, Combined Press Information Center)

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