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    Historic division gathers for All American Review

    All American Week Division Review

    Photo By Sgt. Mike MacLeod | The All American Marching Band performs while more than 14,500 Soldiers assigned to...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    82nd Airborne Division

    By Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 Public Affairs Office

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. - More than 14,500 U.S. Army paratroopers gathered on a parade field here for a review of troops to cap off the 82nd Airborne Division’s celebratory All American Week, May 23.

    Maj. Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., commanding general of the division since the autumn of 2012, welcomed the local community of Fayetteville, veterans past and present, friends and family, wounded warriors and more than 100 “Gold Star” families who have lost a soldier in service to the division.

    The general noted that the paratroopers on the field were not only part of the one percent of Americans who volunteered to stand for their country during 12 years of war in Afghanistan and seven in Iraq, but 13,000 have been to combat.

    More than 4,500 have deployed two or more times, he said.

    “Make no mistake,” said Nicholson. “We are not tired. We are ready anytime, any place.”

    Congressman Chris Gibson, a former 82nd brigade commander and 24-year Army veteran with deployments to Iraq and Kosovo, delivered a keynote address.

    Gibson, who represents the 19th Congressional District in New York, focused on the country’s gratitude for the service of its armed forces and the need to always be prepared.

    The congressman quoted legendary NFL football coach, Vince Lombardi, who said, “The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win.”

    Also in attendance was 96-year-old, retired Lt. Col. James “Maggie” Megellas, one of most decorated officers in the history of the 82nd Airborne Division, served with the division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment during World War II.

    After a short performance by the All American Chorus, more than 100 veterans of the division, including many who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama and the Cold War, marched past the reviewing stand.

    Nicholson, Gibson and the division’s top noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. LaMarquis Knowles, then “trooped the line,” a traditional inspection of the formations thousands of maroon-beret wearing troops from the back of an open Humvee.

    The commander on the field presented the troops to the general in a massing of the brigade, battalion and company guidons, a colorful, martial spectacle before an audience of about a thousand spectators.

    The ceremony ended with each of the division’s 37 battalions marching in order past the reviewing stand in a “pass in review.”

    The last time all of the division’s brigades were on Fort Bragg during the traditional pre-Memorial Day All American Week celebration of the division’s history, service and sacrifice was 2011, and before that, 2006.

    A memorial for the division’s fallen soldiers was held at the 82nd Airborne Division Museum immediately following the review.



    Date Taken: 05.23.2013
    Date Posted: 05.23.2013 17:04
    Story ID: 107486
    Location: FORT BRAGG, NC, US 

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