Bliss celebrates Army birthday
Staff Sgt. Casey J. McGeorge,
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs:
In June 1775, a fledgling band of patriots known as the Second Continental Congress, attempting to break away from the tyranny of Great Britain’s King George III, secretly met in Philadelphia to establish 10 companies of “expert riflemen” to help with the defense of a nation.
Throughout time, the numbers of those expert riflemen grew. Soon they were not only charged with the defense of our nation but with helping to establish democracy to those around the world.
Servicemembers and families came out Thursday to the 1st Armored Division Parade Field for a joint celebration of the U.S. Army’s birthday and Flag Day.
Soldiers from units across Fort Bliss placed 183 campaign streamers on the Army flag in celebration of the event, as well as two of the division’s youngest Soldiers cutting the ceremonial cake, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie R. Kelley, command sergeant major of 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.
Part of the ceremony took many people back to their childhood. Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, Joint Task Force-North commanding general, charged the audience to recommit themselves to America and invited everyone in attendance to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in commemoration of Flag Day.
With right hands placed over their hearts, during a clear, sunny day, with flags blowing in the breeze, hundreds in attendance, including John Cook, El Paso’s mayor, stood and recited those 31 words many would start their day with in grade school.
After the pledge, Stammer spoke of birthday celebrations.
“To the spouses and family members, your constant support for your loved one is every bit as important to our Army as is our training and readiness,” said Stammer. “History informs us that budgets go up and down, units shrink and grow and missions change. … History also reveals that the Soldierly spirit to protect our freedom and way of life endures, and it’s stronger than ever!”
Family was also among the themes of the day, as Staff Sgt. David Zvosechz, a logistics management noncommissioned officer with 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and his family was recognized during the event for the family’s volunteer work.
The Zvosechz family is involved with Fort Bliss neighborhood watch and the McGruff Safe House program. After various trainings and preparation in August 2011, the family was the first to receive certification as a volunteer Safe House here at Fort Bliss. Their home is a temporary safe haven for children who find themselves in emergency or frightening situation, such as being bullied, followed by someone they don’t know or are hurt while in the neighborhood.
“To me, this birthday signifies that we are part of an organization that has passed the test of time,” said Zvosechz. “The Army is here to stay for this country. It is here to support and defend for the rest of time.”
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