News: Arctic Wolves participate in local Veterans Day event
Story by Sgt. Michael Blalack
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Soldiers from the 73rd engineer company, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Participated in a Veterans Appreciation Event at the Alyeska Pipeline’s Fleet Management Facility in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Nov. 8.
This yearly event is organized by Larry Graham, the security captain for the Alyeska Pipeline.
The Alyeska Pipeline Service Company was formed in 1970 and currently maintains and operates the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. The pipeline is an essential element of Alaska’s economy and central to the state’s industry.
The community around Fort Wainwright is known for its support of the military. This hospitality, as well as the beautiful scenery and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, make it a popular place for soldiers to stay once their time in service has ended. The pipeline counts many of these veterans who have chosen to make Alaska their home as employees.
“It started off small,” Said Graham, “as just cake and ice cream, a time to get together and recognize our veterans and current service members.”
Then, seven years ago, Graham, a retired Army sergeant major, was asked to give a presentation, and the event has grown each year.
“This year, I thought it would be great to get a Stryker out here for this,” said Graham.
“We see them all the time,” said Graham, “and this is a great way of letting the civilians here get a closer look and a better understanding of military culture.”
After a presentation on the history of the Stryker, its capabilities, variations and their applications on the battlefield, the engineers were introduced individually to the group of assembled guests.
Everyone was then invited to climb inside and get an up-close look at the Stryker. The soldiers also brought their gear and weapons and answered questions about their equipment, jobs and military experience.
The community of Interior Alaska has shown incredible support for the military, with events such as the veterans appreciation lunch and the Salute To Our Military Parade held on the 1/25 SBCT’s return from Afghanistan.
Veterans Day was created as a federal holiday on June 1, 1954, replacing Armistice Day, which had been established after World War I. After World War II and the Korean War, several veterans’ services organizations pressed congress to make it a day remembering and honoring all veterans.
“Every generation does their part and this generation has had it tough,” said Graham. “Today we’re lucky to have this generation of heroes.”