News: Rock band Daughtry concludes Iron Horse Week at Fort Carson
Story by Staff Sgt. Craig Cantrell
FORT CARSON, Colo. – Cheers echoed throughout Iron Horse Park as thousands of screaming fans crowded in front of a stage in anticipation of a free concert, June 8.
Before headliner, Daughtry performed for soldiers and Families on Fort Carson, Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, presented the winners of Iron Horse Week with the Commander’s Cups, recognizing the units who bested the competition during a week of sports tournaments and events.
“The intent was to have some events the post would enjoy participating in, not making them do military skills-related activities, but sheer athletic competition,” said Anderson.
The 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., won the large-unit Commander’s Cup and the 43rd Special Troops Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Inf. Div., took home the small unit Commander’s Cup.
Throughout Iron Horse Week, the Fort Carson community gathered at Iron Horse Park and physical fitness centers on post to cheer on participants, as event after event determined the strengths of each team.
Like many of the Army’s division-sponsored organizational events, Iron Horse Week provided soldiers and their Families an opportunity to break away from everyday work schedules and enjoy camaraderie, competition and esprit de corps, Anderson said.
“You come out as units; you cheer on; you participate. Families come out, and you have a great time,” said Anderson to those gathered for the Daughtry performance.
The five-day celebration of Iron Horse spirit featured tournaments and matchups in a 10-kilometer run, archery, basketball, bowling, boxing, combat swim test, combatives, flag football, golf, marksmanship, paintball, racquetball, volleyball, softball, tug of war and a wall climb.
“Iron Horse Week is great for the entire 4th Inf. Div.,” said 1st Sgt. Kerry Bassett, senior enlisted leader, Company B, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt. “It’s great for the soldiers; it builds esprit de corps and camaraderie across the entire division. Not just within units, because we get to work with soldiers we have never worked with before, go out have fun and build the warrior spirit,” said Bassett, coach of the “Regulars” Battalion tug of war team.
Iron Horse Week provided soldiers and service members the opportunity to showcase their talents while representing units.
“I think it’s great that the 4th Inf. Div. takes the time to dedicate a week to fitness, competition and camaraderie within each battalion, brigade and (units) across the division,” said 1st Lt. Nicholas Vandam, operations officer, 43rd SB.
Soldiers and family members not competing in the tournaments still participated, observing and cheering their comrades and loved ones during the week of competitions and unit cook outs.
“I want to thank (the) 4th Inf. Div. for letting us do this event for Iron Horse Week and supporting us,” said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Westrich, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the Fort Carson Modern Army Combatives Program, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison.
“The only reason we had 150 people compete in the tournament is because Maj. Gen. Anderson and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall really put it out there, and made it happen,” he said.
Wrapping up Iron Horse Week with the concert in Iron Horse Park, soldiers carried on the traditions of bringing trophies, bragging rights and honors back to their units, until the next time sounds of camaraderie and competition fill the post again.