82nd celebrates past and present at All American Week
Posted May 18, 2015
Fort Bragg, N.C. — Jogging to the cadence, more than 15,000 paratroopers made the four-mile trek along Longstreet Road Monday morning to mark the beginning of the annual All American Week at Fort Bragg.
"Up in the morning before day … this is the way we earn our pay,” they chanted.
All American Week, a family reunion of sorts for the 82nd Airborne Division, goes beyond work to connect those currently serving with those who have gone before. It’s a chance for the soldiers to let their hair down and have a little fun with family and friends.
“It’s really nice, and I love spending time with my family and just having friendly competition with the brigade and the division," said Spec. Jackson Curbin.
The competition goes on all week with softball, football and other sporting events. Each event has a helping component as well.
Amy White, a soldier's wife, was gathering pulled pork sandwiches, Krispy Kreme donuts, drinks and chips to benefit the Family Readiness Group.
Those at Fort Bragg for All American Week are very aware of their brothers in arms who can't be there.
"Our Aviation Brigade just came back from a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan," said Maj. Gen. Richard Clarke, division commander of the 82nd Airborne. "Our third brigade, our Panther Brigade remains deployed in Iraq right now.”
On Wednesday, a memorial service will pay tribute to the paratroopers who gave their lives in service and the families who support them.
On Thursday, paratroopers put their skills on display for the public. The event, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sicily Drop Zone, features a parachute demonstration by the Golden Knights, a performance by the All American Chorus and military vehicles and equipment on display.