News: "Banner Day" event brings Paratroopers, families, and friends together
Story by Sgt. Kissta DiGregorio
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — For paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne Division, life can be pretty intense. So when the opportunity comes to take a break and have some fun, it's a special occasion.
Members of the 82nd's 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, also known as the Red Falcons, participated in the battalion's annual Banner Day, July 23. The event gave troopers an opportunity to have fun with their families and get to know the Soldiers they work with while taking a break from training.
There were many events for the Soldiers and family members to enjoy: softball, flag football, volleyball, soccer and tug-of-war.
Soldiers agreed that the annual celebration is a morale booster and a good way for families to get involved in battalion events.
"It's nice for the kids, too," said Staff Sgt. James Gresham, of C Company.
Gresham refereed the kid's soccer game which his sons Jacob and Caleb played in. Members of the 42nd Military Police Detachment, K-9 Section, gave a demonstration with the MP working dogs.
Sgt. Jessica Lech with the K-9 Section donned a bite suit which protects against a dog bite while training the dogs to attack. She agitated the dog and ran, but didn't get far before he caught up to her and took her down.
Two volunteers, 1st Sgt. Brian Knight, of D Company, and Sgt. First Class Manuel Lopez, of Headquarters Company, also wore the suit to try their luck against the trained canine. Their attempts were no better.
The day was also an opportunity to teach Soldiers to think before they act, said Command Sgt. Major Richard Clark, the Battalion Sgt. Major for the Red Falcons.
"The main objective is to promote safety," Clark said.
Troopers wore "beer goggles" which impair the wearer's vision similar to when a person has been drinking. They then had to maneuver a tractor through a driving course without hitting any cones.
"The goggles are weird," said Spc. Stephen Milner, of B Company, who hit one cone on the course.
"You don't think the world looks like that when you're drunk," Milner said.
Sgt. Major Jack Love, the operations sergeant major for the battalion, coordinated the event.
"Paratroopers have hard jobs," Love said. "This gives them a break."