Local News

82nd Airborne Division Runs Together As One

Posted May 24, 2004

— The 82nd Airborne Division has been running a fast pace around the world, but on Monday, its members did not slow down.

The annual 4-mile Division Run kicked off All-American Week in Cumberland County in celebration of Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division. The event began with a 4-mile run at 6:30 a.m.

"It's about going out and sweating with one another just like we sweat together in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack Jr., commander of the 82nd Airborne.

Thousands have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, so many soldiers were gone last year that the run and All-American Week was canceled, but this year, it has returned. The celebration marks the first time in about two months that the entire division has been home.

The soldiers may have been back, but some soldiers were missing. Thirty-nine paratroopers were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We will be especially keeping them in our heads today," said Sgt. Tiffany Duchess.

Families said they came to the Division Run to support those they love.

"It's a good morale booster for all of them and for all the families," military wife Trish Meals said.

There is no word on when the next deployments will be.

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