News: 2-44 ADA celebrates America’s birthday
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Regina Machine
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment took some time to relax during a Battalion Morale Day to celebrate the 4th of July.
The Morale Day was organized and executed by a group of battalion noncommissioned officers and officers who are passionate about Soldier care and morale.
“It’s all about the Soldiers. Any time you can put together an organization day while deployed it helps boost morale,” stated Sgt. 1st Class James Johnson, platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, Alpha Battery.
“I think it’s always good for Soldiers to be able take a moment to relax and enjoy themselves outside of work as a whole,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Boyles, first sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment. “Especially being away from their families and loved ones and that this is one of our most celebrated holidays. I’m just really glad I could take part and share in this experience with them.”
Coordination was made with Bagram Air Field’s dining facilities to provide food for the function and the installation’s Morale Welfare Recreation to provide sports equipment. Throughout the day Soldiers partook in a variety of activities to include: volleyball, horse shoes, ping pong, good old fashion catch and corn hole. Soldiers and leaders spent the day coming together as a team in something other than their usual day-to-day required duties.
“The barbecue was a great morale booster I enjoyed it very much,” Spc. Javier Medina, an avenger crew member, Charlie Battery stated.
Spc. Michael Loesher, air defense battle management system operator, Alpha Battery, also reiterated those sentiments. “it was a nice change of pace seeing everyone engaging in the same activity, and having fun.”
Soldiers had plenty of competition amongst themselves but also took the opportunity to call out some of their leaders in several high stakes volleyball matches.
Operations did not get placed on hold for the event as the fight always continues. Some sections were able to alter shifts so that all who wanted to participate were afforded the opportunity. Those unable to participate in the event because of mission constraints were brought plates of food. Overall, it was a good day for the Battalion.
First Sgt. Robert Walker, Alpha Battery commented, “This event was really good for the Assassin Battery Soldiers. This was a great relaxing event for our troops who work 14-16 hours a day, seven days a week. This event allowed them the opportunity to relax and celebrate Independence Day as a team. It’s very encouraging to see noncommissioned officers volunteer to put in extra hours and pull their Soldiers shifts in order to allow them the opportunity to get some down time and truly shows appreciation for their great efforts.”
“Having the battalion organizational barbecue was a great way to celebrate Independence Day and to come together as a team of professionals. It was nice to see the Soldiers unwind, joke, and have fun while remaining focused on the mission and why we are currently here in Afghanistan,” Sgt. 1st Class Scott Paul, platoon sergeant for 2nd Platoon, Alpha Battery.
At the end of the day it’s all about growing as a team. Being separated from your friends and family during holidays can present its own challenges. Spending a day with your co-workers in an event other than normal work is a great chance to get a little feeling of "home" back.