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CJTF-76 celebrates Army’s 231st birthday
ARNEWS ^ | Staff Sgt. Robert R. Ramon

Posted on 06/15/2006 4:26:09 PM PDT by SandRat

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (Army News Service, June 15, 2006) – Soldiers in Afghanistan celebrated the Army’s 231st birthday June 14.

Coalition Joint Task Force-76 Commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley spoke to Soldiers about the Army’s successes – both past and present.

“The American Army has fought in over ten wars in its 231 years, from the revolution to the global war on terror,” said Freakley. “Ten wars of Soldiers laying their lives down on the battlefield, just like yesterday when we lost two of our brothers (in Afghanistan) and were reminded of the sacrifice that Soldiers make to preserve liberty and freedom, not only in America, but in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world.”

Freakley reminded Soldiers of the important role the U.S. Army plays in the welfare of our country.

“It has played and continues to play a vital role in the growth and development of the United States of America,” Freakley said. “It is the Soldier who guarantees the freedom and the democracy… that allows the nation to enjoy its many successes and its stature in the world and indeed allows our citizens to live their lives in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.”

Two Soldiers from the ranks of thousands currently serving in Afghanistan shared their thoughts about the significance of the Army’s 231st birthday.

“Today is the Army’s birthday, and when I think of this occasion, one word comes to mind: Legacy,” said Sgt. Stephanie A. Van Geete, Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 10th Combat Aviation Battalion. Our forefathers “created a legacy that lives on today in the bodies of each of you standing before me.”

“I stand here on the Army’s 231st birthday, having served one year of those 231 years and looking forward to many more,” said Pfc. Jason S. McFarland, Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 240th Engineer Group.

Leaders celebrated the day by presenting "combat patches" to 10th Mountain Division Soldiers. Soldiers assigned to units participating in Operation Enduring Freedom are authorized to wear the shoulder sleeve insignia for former wartime service, said Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph Borja, CJTF-76 command sergeant major.

“More commonly referred to as the “combat patch,” the insignia is awarded to Soldiers who have answered the call to duty and served their nation during a time of war,” said Borja. “This patch represents that they have placed boots on the ground, and were forward deployed against the enemies of the United States. Today, we place with pride the combat patch of the historic 10th Mountain Division on our right sleeves.”

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 231st; afghanistan; armys; birthday; celebrates; cjtf76; happybirthday; soldiers

1 posted on 06/15/2006 4:26:11 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 91B; HiJinx; Spiff; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; Grampa Dave; ...

Birthday's get celebrated even in the field.

2 posted on 06/15/2006 4:26:38 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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