Schweinfurt celebrates birthday, Soldiers tell their story
Schweinfurt community members and Soldiers representing 10 units celebrated the Army's 237th birthday June 14 at a ceremony held here at Ledward Barracks. This birthday event provides just one opportunity for Soldiers stationed here to tell their story. Here are just a few.

SCHWEINFURT, Germany -- Soldiers in formation representing 10 units stationed here and community members converged June 14 at ceremony on Ledward Barracks to celebrate the Army's 237th birthday.

"We renew the Army each year with new Soldiers as others retire," said Garrison Commander, Lt. Col. Michael Runey in comments delivered at the ceremony in Andrus Garden.

There are currently 1.1 million Soldiers serving in the Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard, all engaged in nearly 150 countries around the world -- one in five of whom is currently deployed or at a forward station. Another 1.4 million Army families shoulder this burden while 278,000 Civilians are committed to serving the Army, said Runey.

"And what sets us apart?" asked Runey. "Our competence, adaptability, moral courage and our resolve and commitment. We are Army Strong!"

What makes the U.S. Army particularly unique among other standing armies is its people. The Soldiers making up our all-volunteer force come from a wide-range of cultures, backgrounds and personal histories. This birthday event provides just one opportunity for Soldiers stationed here to tell their story. Here are just a few.


Sgt. 1st Class William Tanner
Hometown: Fayetteville, N.C.
Years of Service: 22
Why I Joined: Joining the Army was the best available career path for me.

Spc. Brandon Davis
Hometown: Uvalde, Texas
Years of Service: 6
Why I Joined: I joined after my grandfather passed away. He was a WWII veteran and I did it to honor him. Plus, my brothers joined.

Lt. Col. Chad Sekutera
Hometown: Norfolk, Neb.
Years of Service: 23
Why I Joined: I joined the reserves for the student loan repayment program. I deployed to Desert Storm and Desert Shield as a 2nd Lieutenant. I thought active duty was enjoyable so in 1992 I converted to active duty.

Staff Sgt. Wontez Morgan
Hometown: Charleston, S.C.
Years of Service: 10
Why I Joined: To take care of my family and get out of my hometown. I wanted to see different things, meet different people and experience different cultures.

Spc. Gary Jones
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Years of Service: 6
Why I Joined: I've always wanted to join the Army since I was a kid. My grandfather and uncles were in the Army. It's been a family thing.

Sgt. 1st Class Rafael Negron
Hometown: Puerto Rico
Years of Service: 14
Why I Joined: I wanted to do my part and serve my country in the best way possible, so I joined the Army.

Spc. Maquez Siler
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Years of Service: 1
Why I Joined: The Army is a way for me to better my opportunities.

Pvt. Zachary Morrin
Hometown: Charleston, S.C.
Years of Service: 8 months
Why I Joined: My father was in the Marines. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and joined the armed services, so I joined the Army.

Sgt. 1st Class Ingrid Velez
Hometown: U.S. Virgin Islands
Years of Service: 14
Why I Joined: I joined the Army because I wanted to do something challenging in my life.

Spc. Dustin Downing
Hometown: Pittsburg, Pa.
Years of Service: 4
Why I Joined: My friend and I joined together. We both enjoyed working on technical devices and the Army allows us to work and operate these kinds of devices.

Pvt. Dorrell Morris
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Years of Service: 8 months
Why I Joined: Eventually I would like to go back to school, so I joined to better my career opportunities.

Page last updated Fri June 15th, 2012 at 14:19