Veterans Honored During All-American Week
Posted May 25, 2001 2:11 a.m. EDT
FORT BRAGG — All-American Weekis an annual event at Fort Bragg that brings out the patriotism in everyone. Thursday thousands of soldiers were honored in a pre-Memorial Day event.
The annual celebration is about honoring veterans and hearing their stories.
"They get to see all the new equipment that's come out. The new soldiers get to go back and experience all the good things they've done in the past, and what we are going through in the present," says Sgt. John Robinson.
The present looks different than the past. Just ask Vietnam veteran Charlie Williams.
"More educated young men than before. The way technology has advanced than what we used to have - it takes a lot smarter guy to learn all of that," he says.
This year, All-American Week recognizes the veterans who served 10 years ago in Desert Storm. Since then, things have advanced for the 82nd Airborne. New C17 aircraft get more paratoopers where they need to go faster. But that is not all.
"We've got better equipment," says Gen. Jack Kean, Army Vice Chief of Staff. "The Javalon anti-tank weapon system is the best shoulder-fired (anti-tank weapon) in the world. This is the first unit to field it. The 82nd still gets the leading edge of all technological developments."
Technology may have changed over the years, but leaders who know these soldiers best say one thing has not changed and never will.
"What's inside paratroopers who are willing to go where they need to go and carry out our national policies, that hasn't changed," says Major General John Vines.
It is a committment that has them ready to respond to any crisis in the world within 18 hours.