Army North community enjoys festive Fiesta
May 11, 2010
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - Lt. Gen. Guy Swan III, commanding general, U.S. Army North, welcomed Fiesta leaders, royalty, military and Civilian community members and invited guests to the Army North Command General's reception at the historical ARNORTH Quadrangle April 18.
The annual event brought together the San Antonio Royalty, Family and friends with the Fort Sam Houston military community in honor of the relationship. While guests enjoyed one another's company, they also had the unique opportunity to enjoy performances by the U.S. Army's Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and a jazz ensemble from the U.S. Army's Medical Command Band.
"More than 250 invited guests gathered underneath the Oak Tree to witness the gift exchanges between Army North, Fort Sam Houston's senior military leaders and the Fiesta royalty," said Sgt. Maj. Daniel Adle, G3 sergeant major, Army North. "Afterward, everyone gathered around the food tables and took advantage of the opportunity to engage with the Fiesta royalty, the military leaders of the Army, Air Force and Navy, and with the Fiesta ambassadors from Fort Sam Houston units, and the highlight of the evening was the performance of the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps."
Members from the U.S. Military Veterans Parade Association took advantage of the opportunity to meet and speak with many military service men and woman.
"Since arriving at the Quadrangle, all the guests and hosts were together for common purpose, which was to spend time together and share one another's stories," said Delia Guajardo, president, U.S. MVPA. "The entire evening was perfect; the entertainment was superbly professional, and the whole crowd spent good quality family time with each other - and what better place to spend it then at Fort Sam Houston."
Not only did the guests get to enjoy the historic Quadrangle, they were able to take advantage of events throughout the day at the Fort Sam Houston festival at the post's MacArthur Field. The festival featured numerous entertainment opportunities, such as various carnival rides, vendors and food booths. The festival also featured numerous information and display booths by the commands based at Fort Sam Houston, such as the ARNORTH display.
Crowds of people visited the Army North display, which featured two of the command's key vehicles: the Sentinel and the Emergency Response Vehicle. Army North personnel met with the community members and spoke with them about the command, its mission and answered their questions of curiosity.
"Some people I spoke with didn't know what ARNORTH was or even did," said Glen McLaughlin, network manager, Army North. "Once I explained what we do and how we help the community, they were very thankful they had some extra support."
Many people were drawn to the vehicle due to its sheer size. Some even mistook it as a festival ride.
"The visitors were very impressed after getting a brief inside the Sentinel vehicle," said Sgt. 1st Class Kuoway Ho, defense travel system administrator, Army North. "Many visitors were willing to pay an entrance fee to get look inside."
Entry, of course, was free and all were welcome to learn more about the vehicle and the unit's various missions.
Venues such as this provide the best opportunity to reach out to the local community and show the support they get from the military community.
"We were all ready to tell the Army story," said James Skidmore, operations officer, Army North. "Everyone was very interested, and it was a great chance to speak with them and hand out informational pamphlets."
The 2010 Fort Sam Houston Fiesta continues the tradition of cohesiveness of military and civilian communities.
"Since the Army first arrived in San Antonio, the Fort Sam Houston community has always enjoyed a warm and prosperous relationship with the San Antonio community," said Adle. "It allows both communities to continue to build the many distinct partnerships and friendships fostered through the unique spirit of Fiesta."