JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WASH. - The sound of soldiers calling cadence is a common occurrence on a weekday morning across Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Lewis North, Wash., but on Aug. 16 the sound of cadence was met with the cheers of family members.

Some 4,000 soldiers with the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division ran in formation for the first Lancer Brigade run in more than two years.

The Lancers ran four miles in the morning fog, calling cadence to build unit morale and pride, but at the two-mile mark they were met by the cheers of Family and friends.

"There is no doubt that we are building a team, and I thank everybody for the motivation today," said Col. Louis Ziesman, brigade commander for 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Family and friends from across the brigade waited patiently as the soldiers approached, and when the first cannon was fired to signify that the Lancers had arrived, the cheers from the crowd began.

"Second Brigade hasn't had a run in a really long time and it is just fun to come out and show support to our families and our soldiers," said Gwyn Nielsen, the family readiness group leader for the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment.

The run brought the Lancer family together and showed the JBLM community that the families are the "strength behind the shield."

"I think [the run] is awesome, and JBLM needs pride and spirit in their Families, and I think this is a great way to start," said Nielsen.

"There is nothing like being a part of an Army family. This kind of support is part of our tradition and our heritage, and we are just all really glad to be here to support our soldiers," added Nielsen.

A four-mile run may be a simple task for Lancers, but the pride and support shown by the families has an everlasting effect on the soldiers and the organization as a whole.

"When you talk about the magic in an organization, I tell you, it is when you ran by the families and the kids that were supporting us today," said Ziesman. "That is what the magic is about and that is why we do what we do."

Page last updated Thu August 22nd, 2013 at 00:00