The 173rd Airborne Brigade celebrates 4th of July with Polish Soldiers
KONOTOP, Poland – Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the 18th Polish Airborne Battalion and firefighters from the Konotop Fire and Rescue Department celebrated American Independence Day and Polish Banner Day during a barbeque and sporting events here July 4.
July 4 marks both Independence Day in the United States and Poland’s Banner Day, which is a celebration of the symbol of the Polish State, a white and red horizontal bicolor flag officially adopted in 1919.
“I’m very happy that the Polish airborne battalion and Polish firefighters joined us for these very important celebrations,” said Capt. Matthew McCarthy, of Deerfield, Illinois, a paratrooper assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Abn. Bde. “These sporting events broke the language barrier and everyone had a good time.”
The paratroopers from 2nd Bn., 503rd Inf. Regt. arrived in Poland in late June to replace a company from the brigade’s 1st Bn., 503rd Inf. Regt., who deployed to Poland for training in April.
Approximately 600 paratroopers from the brigade are in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve to demonstrate commitment to NATO obligations and sustain interoperability with allied forces.
The day’s activities included tournaments in soccer, table tennis and volleyball. Firefighters from the Konotop Fire and Rescue Department played many matches with paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne at their village soccer field. The sense of camaraderie was felt by both sides.
“We really enjoyed playing these games with our new friends,” said Lt. Andres Popoak, Konotop Fire and Rescue Department chief. “We hope that this is the beginning of a strong friendship.”
The day also welcomed Polish Lt. Col. Ryszard Burczy, 18th Polish Airborne Battalion commander, whose battalion will be working closely with the 173rd Airborne in the coming weeks.
||DEERFIELD, IL, US
This work, The 173rd Airborne Brigade celebrates 4th of July with Polish Soldiers, by CPT Fernando Ochoa, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.
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