MANHATTAN, Kan. - During a ceremony at half time of Kansas State University's football game Sept. 25, Lt. Col. Eric Timmerman, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and representatives from Riley Country reaffirmed 4th IBCT's commitment to the residents and leadership of Riley County with an Army Community Covenant signing.

Fort Riley, 4th IBCT and Riley County leaders signed the covenant midfield as a script was read.

"It was a great opportunity for all of the citizens of the surrounding communities to see firsthand the partnership between Fort Riley and the Central Flint Hills Region," said Bevin Landrum, Manhattan community military liaison. "It's easy for us to go and sign a covenant at a ceremony on Fort Riley, but this was a fabulous opportunity for us to showcase this in front of the citizens and give them a chance to see the wording of the text and reaffirm what they're living every day in their friendship with the Soldiers and Families of the post."

The signing took place during Fort Riley Day at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Fort Riley Soldiers and Families were invited to the game and participated in activities in front of the 50,586 in attendance.

"I think the Families have gone through so much in the last few years with the out tempo and the recurring deployments, that to know that they live in a community that is behind them 100 percent just makes it a little bit easier to get up every day and go through the next deployment ," Landrum said.

Mike Kearns, Riley County Commission chairperson, said the covenant meant a lot.

"We in the Riley County community recognize how important Fort Riley is, not only to the national defense, but to the local area - to our economy and our quality of life," he said. "We are really happy and thrilled that they are here."

Kearns said signing the covenant means the two communities will continue to work together.

"Some posts don't have that great of relationship between the surrounding community and the post, but here, we have a tradition of a wonderful relationship," he said.

Landrum noticed a ton of support for the Soldiers at the game, she said.

"When the troops marched in today, the crowd was lined out in the parking lot just cheering for them and clapping," she said. "We are blessed to live in an area where we are that supported as military Families. Bringing it all together was a great opportunity."

The Riley County Army Community Covenant signing is one of several covenant signings that will take within the Central Flint Hills Region through October. In February 2011, the covenants will be taken to the capitol in Topeka, Kan., and signed in an event in February by state officials.

Page last updated Tue September 28th, 2010 at 18:22