Worth Fighting For: Stewart-Hunter celebrates Independence Day
July 8, 2010
<b>FORT STEWART, HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga.</b> - Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, along with Task Force Marne, celebrated Independance Day with a weekend of activities, July 1-3.
<b>Independence Day celebrated at Stewart with plethora of activities</b>
Independence Day weekend was celebrated at Fort Stewart with a plethora of activities and live entertainment, including acts such as the Frisbee Dog Show and a juggling-comedy show by Ken Schultz the "Flying Fool." Other activities included children's inflatables, Mega Midways Inc. carnival rides, face painting, a petting zoo and children's wet slide area.
The weekend events started July 1 with a golf tournament and the Salute to the Nation cannon firing, and were concluded with fireworks, July 2. Children of all ages, whether accompanied by adults or with friends, enjoyed the festivities Stewart had to offer.
Other festivities included a mechanical bull, a bungee "sling shot" jump, and several large blow-up bounce houses. Many Family Members or Soldiers took part in various activities on Newman Field. Some of these activities included a "Make Your Own Hat" booth and a stand where Family Members and Soldiers could mine for gold or other "precious" stones.
As the festivities drew on with the steadily rising temperatures, Family Members and Soldiers flocked to the pool or played mini-golf at Corkan Family Recreation Area. Many who weren't at the pool or participating at the carnival or the events on Newman Field were probably at the food concessions and the Hinesville Military Affairs Committee Food Court, which included barbeque, burgers, hot dogs and other famous "fair" foods on West Sixth Street.
After 4 p.m., the food concessions moved to Donovan Field for the crowd at the Darius Rucker and En Vogue concert and fireworks.
<b>A rainy "Worth Fighting For" Golf Tournament still fields 13 teams</b>
Clouds gathered and rain drizzled as 13, four-man teams participated in the "Worth Fighting For" Independence Day Golf Tournament on the start of the Garrison salute gun at Taylors Creek Golf Course, July 1.
After a rules and safety briefing by Tommie McArthur, director of golf for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, the 13 teams dispersed to the different holes for a shotgun start.
They were advised to leave the field immediately at the first sign of a thunderstorm. The teams consisted of men and women, both active duty and retired, who played the 18 holes through the light drizzle.
Three members of the 1/41st Field Artillery were there with a Pack-75 cannon, which signaled the start of the golf tournament and this year's Independence Day weekend celebrations.
Pulling the lanyard for the gun salute was Sgt. Joseph Vanvactor, who received firing commands from Staff Sgt. Randy Brannon and was assisted by Spc. Ronald Dahle.
"A good day at golf is better than a bad at day at work," said Pfc. Adam Dopson, 24th Ordinance Brigade.
Private First Class Dopson and his teammates were one of the 13 teams who braved the rain, weather that is common in south Georgia in summer. For some, the rainy drizzle was welcomed relief to an otherwise hot summer day.
<b>Ken Schultz show keeps crowd laughing</b>
He's a juggler. He's a magician. He's a cyclist. He's also a comedian. Ken Schultz is an all-round entertainer and one of the most popular shows during Fort Stewart's Independence Day weekend celebrations, July 2.
Schultz worked especially well with children, many of whom he made a part of his act, whether it was juggling bowling pins, a balloon "sword" fight or riding a unicycle. Some kids took up front row seats before the start of his act, but as his improvised comedy show went on, more and more kids left their parents sides and joined the others. He would tie up balloons to make "Bozo" noses for little girls and sit little boys on his shoulders to take a ride with him on his unicycle.
Schultz balanced just about anything on his nose or chin, from softball caps and flip-flops to 8-foot long folding tables and scimitars (swords). His juggling props included not only balls and bowling pins but also rubber chickens. Throughout his act, Schultz kept children and their parents laughing.
Also called the "Flying Fool," Schultz' Chicago-based act has been entertained audiences throughout the United States and Canada for more than 20 years. According to his Web site, www.flyingfool.com, his act "is time tested, clean and has positive fun that will not offend, but rather bring the best out of any group." Given the roar of laughter from the crowds watching his recent show at Fort Stewart, Schultz will be welcomed back to next year's 4th of July celebrations.
<b>Frisbee dog shows draw large crowds</b>
Kids love dogs, especially performing dogs, which is why the world famous Frisbee Dogs drew large crowds of kids, most of whom brought along their parents to this year's Independence Day celebrations at Fort Stewart, July 2. Disconnected K9's owners Lawrence and Jodi Frederick entertained young and young at heart as their precision-trained canines dazzled the crowds as they leaped in the air to catch fast-flying Frisbees.
Before starting each show, Frederick explained that each of the dogs performing was rescued from animal shelters, off the street or adopted from abusive homes. He wanted everyone to give a big 'thank you' to those people who care enough to rescue abandoned and mistreated animals.
The first dog Frederick introduced, Jackson, was a street dog just six months ago, rescued by a Tampa, Fla. police officer who lured the starving dog into her patrol car with a hamburger. After eating, Jackson fell asleep in the seat of the patrol car and was promptly taken to the city's animal rescue shelter.
Although he missed a few Frisbees tossed out for him, Jackson won the hearts of those watching him perform, if only because his personal story so impressed everyone that this "underdog" had been given a second chance. Another dog, Flash, was a true pro. Frederick said she had competed in numerous K9 Frisbee championships, and she showed it during her near flawless performance.
One of the show routines through which his dogs would catch a flying Frisbee included leaping onto Frederick's back then into the air. Another was leaping over a pyramid of people. Frederick, who said he has been performing with Frisbees for over 40 years, has included dogs in his act for nearly 20 years.
The Frisbee, a round, plastic plate first made by Wham-O in the late 1950's, has long been a popular toy with both children and adults. Add dogs to the fun, and you have hours of Family entertainment.
<b>Hunter draws crowd for "Worth Fighting For!" celebrations</b>
The "Worth Fighting For!" theme was echoed at Hunter Army Airfield, July 3, in celebration of Independence Day.
Food, a Frisbee Dog demonstration, a petting zoo, flag and hat making, face painting and, of course, more food and music continued into the twilight and beyond. Fireworks lit up the night sky at the end of the evening, drawing many "ooohs," "aahhs" and "wows" from the crowd.
Other highlights of the day included a fishing tournament, golf tournament, skeet shoot demonstrations, free swimming and free bowling.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Jonathan Cooper, of U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit-Savannah, and his Family were at the fishing tournament. His son Christian, 5, had several good-size catfish in his bucket. When asked if they were going to be pets or food, his mom Christy responded, "Oh they will be fried and sitting on a plate beside some hushpuppies, cole slaw and French fries."
Luckily for those in the crowd, the temperatures didn't reach unbearable heights, as had been in past weeks, and the crowd in attendance appreciated the respite from the heat of the past. The golf course was crowded along with the pool, so persons were able to enjoy their games without suffering from heat related injuries.
At the Family Day Park, people had their choice of many tents to visit or just sit back under a shady oak and enjoy the scenery.
This was the first time that Hunter has held an Independence Day event on its own. But, as many from the crowd expressed, they hope it will not be the last.