FORT BENNING, Ga. - The Columbus Lions arena football team, sponsored "Sledgehammer Night" for the Soldiers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, at the Civic Center, in Columbus, Ga., June 13.

Before the game, 3rd HBCT Soldiers tailgated in the Civic Center parking lot, enjoyed a free concert, and interacted with the Lion's players and cheerleaders.

"I enjoyed it," said 1st Sgt. Dobby Anderson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion. "I really like how the whole brigade came out and supported this. That was a big-time tailgate party. We had people grilling and throwing the football. The music was going. It set the tone for the whole evening."

Many Soldiers took the opportunity to branch out and spend time with other Soldiers outside of their units.

"It was good to get the opportunity to mess around with the other battalions and talk with some of the other sergeants major in the brigade," said Command Sgt. Maj. Dan Huell, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment. "That event went along way in building team cohesion and espri de corps in the unit."

During the game, 3rd HBCT Soldiers and their families supported the Lions as they defeated the Fayetteville Guard, from North Carolina. Before the game, John Hargrove, the managing partner of the Lions, presented Col. Pete Jones, brigade commander, with a banner commemorating the evening. Hargrove also offered words of support to the brigade Soldiers.

Various Soldiers of the 3rd HBCT participated in events throughout the game, including singing the national anthem, playing exhibition games during game breaks, and a reenlistment ceremony during half time, various videos highlighting the brigade's last deployment. Four Sledgehammer Soldiers also reenlisted during halftime before eight Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, repelled from the rafters down to the field.

After each event, the people of Columbus showed their support to the participating Soldiers by giving them round after round of applause.

"The event was a great team building event, not just for us, but for the brigade and the populace of Columbus," said Huell. "The support we and our families received was tremendous."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16