By Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public AffairsOctober 26, 2017
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Oct. 26, 2017) -- They ran in solidarity, although separated by oceans and time zones, to demonstrate unit pride and mission readiness.
Hundreds of Soldiers from the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade and 10th Mountain Division (LI), Family Members -- and several canine companions -- gathered for a World Run on Oct. 20 at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield where they joined thousands more running at military posts around the globe.
Lt. Col. George Hodges, 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment commander, welcomed everyone to the intercontinental event and noted that fellow Falcon Brigade members were simultaneously preparing to run in South Korea, Kuwait, Romania, Poland, Estonia, Iraq, Germany, the Netherlands and Latvia -- some as late as 9 p.m. in their parts of the world.
"Today we celebrate the fact that 10th CAB, with a shared purpose but diverse missions, is deployed around the world supporting operations in four geographic combatant commands in 10 countries, at 14 different locations," he said. "The Falcon Brigade is leading the way."
Hodges said that the event commemorates and exemplifies how the Army leads the nation in diversity, integration and unit.
"We are a team with many differences in skin color, gender, religion, creed, orientation, origin and thought," he said. "But we always stand together as one unit, even as we're spread across the globe."
Staff Sgt. Victor Martin, assigned to 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, said that even Soldiers who had just returned from Germany participated in the early morning run.
"This is all about supporting our fellow troopers here and around the world," he said. "Ever since I came to this unit last year, the 10th CAB has welcomed me and my Family so much, and it's been a really great honor to serve with this unit."
The large group assembled outside the aviation hangar was not the typical Army formation, with many Soldiers and spouses gripping leashes and strollers to run with their entire Family in tow.
One Family Member, Anita Ruisanchez, ran with fellow "Knighthawk" spouses, representing 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, but she expressed pride in being able to run for something larger than herself.
"To support this, it shows that we are 'One Team, One Fight,'" she said. "We ran with our entire Falcon Family."
Dee Brown said it was special being able to run while knowing so many other Soldiers were running with them around the world.
"It's a huge thing to be able to participate in this run alongside them and to feel like we're together even though we're apart," she said.
"Being together here as a Family, even though we're so many miles apart, we support one another physically, mentally and spiritually," Faith Mulk added.
Col. Clair Gill, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade and Task Force Falcon commander, led his troops on the World Run from Illesheim, Germany. He said that the event commemorates 10th CAB being one of the Army's busiest and most globally deployed units.
"Managing missions in this many locations would not be possible without the tremendous talent of the junior leaders in our Army, specifically in the 10th CAB," he said. "Of course, we also have to recognize the Families that serve as our bond back at home in the North Country at Fort Drum."
Capt. Joshua Heiner, commander of D Company, 10th Aviation Regiment, deployed with his unit to Iraq in February, and he is preparing to hand off the mission to another MQ-1C Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems company.
He said that 10th CAB Soldiers have been conducting 24-hour operations in both Iraq and Kuwait for the past nine months, and they have logged nearly 15,000 flight hours in support.
"(This run) reminds us that although we have been geographically separated and conducting a very different mission than the rest of 10th CAB, we are a part of something much larger than any one person or company," Heiner said. "In joining the rest of our brigade as we run, it also signifies the end of our missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield, and the beginning of our reintegration with our parent command at Fort Drum."
Col. Milford Beagle Jr., 10th Mountain Division (LI) deputy commander for support, also pounded the pavement in support of the Falcon Brigade at Fort Drum.
"This was awesome to participate in, knowing it was not just happening here but at every location where there are 10th CAB Soldiers," he said. "It's an honor to be here and be a part of this. We are an Army Family. We talk about it all the time and you hear it said, but when you actually see it, that means a lot."