FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - The U.S. Army began celebrating its 238th birthday June 14, 2013, in Regional Command (South) at 6 a.m. with a 5K Army Birthday fun run, where more than 400 service members and civilians participated in the event.

"Today, we proudly celebrate the United States Army's Birthday. For 238 years, our Nation has entrusted the Army with preserving its peace and freedom and defending our democracy," said Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, the Third Infantry Division and Regional Command (South) commanding general.

Also to commemorate this event, troops and coalition partners gathered for a birthday ceremony in Marne Garden that featured music from the Third Infantry Division band, a cake-cutting ceremony featuring the oldest and youngest soldiers, and a celebration speech from Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams.

"It was the Army who dug trenches across Europe during World War I and liberated such places as North Africa, Italy, France, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Philippines in World War II, freeing them from tyranny and whose efforts brought defeat upon our enemy," said Abrams. "Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, our Army has been the decisive force in the global struggle against violent extremism."

"Today, we find ourselves in southern Afghanistan, more than a decade later, a mere 10 kilometers from Tarnak Farms where several of the original attackers planned, prepared and executed those horrific attacks," he said. "Yet we continue to willingly volunteer in unprecedented times, in service to our nation's interests, not only in Afghanistan but elsewhere as well, to protect the American people at home. We remain vigilant, resilient, and steadfast in our commitment even while in combat, prepared to meet the challenges of an uncertain future, anytime and anywhere."

Following the ceremony troops were able to enjoy a meal that included chicken, macaroni and cheese, a variety of cakes, fruits, a salad bar and birthday cake.

"Today, we celebrate 238 years of America's Army," Abrams said. "It is more than a celebration of the institution: it is a celebration of our history, heritage and people. The Army story is your story … America's story."

Page last updated Fri June 14th, 2013 at 00:00