FORT BRAGG, N.C. – For soldiers and family members of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Thanksgiving week is more than one day of eating a traditional Thanksgiving Meal. It also includes a competition for best dining facility on Fort Bragg and a game of flag football during the Turkey Bowl.
Col. Edward J. O’Neill, commander, 108th Air Defense Artillery Regiment and Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Foley, as well as other leaders within the brigade, started the festivities with serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal Nov. 26. Many of the newer soldiers to the Army seemed shocked to see their leadership behind the serving line.
The food was not the only hit of the day. The Spartan Dining Facility Hollywood themed decorations also received rave reviews and 10 medals. The five- member team worked for two weeks to make sure that everything would be ready.
Sgt. Wayne Vandever, food service specialist, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Battery remarked how proud he was of his team. “This was the first time that three of the soldiers competed in a competition, and for them to place in the individual category was good.”
The next day there was a downpour but it did not stop the Spartan Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (Airborne) and 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery from competing for title of Turkey Bowl champion. Female soldiers also competed in a powder puff match.
Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Paul, noncommissioned officer in charge of operations108th ADA, HHB, also spoke on the caliber of soldiers within the brigade.
“Rain won’t stop competitive soldiers and it is always a good time when soldiers can represent their units,” stated Paul.
Esprit de Corps events and the reference of tradition like the Thanksgiving meal and Turkey Bowl ensure that the soldiers of the 108th ADA BDE are mentally and physically fit to deploy worldwide to defend US forces and critical assets.