By Brandon BieltzJune 20, 2013
A steady rain didn't prevent service members representing 26 units from celebrating the Army's 238th birthday with a spirited run through the installation.
With an emphasis on resiliency, Fort Meade celebrated the Army's anniversary with the Army Birthday Run for Resiliency joint service run Friday morning at McGlachlin Parade Field.
Approximately 1,800 service members participated in the early-morning, three-mile run.
"It's a good start to the day," said Sgt. David Dote, who is stationed in Vilseck, Germany, and visiting family at Fort Meade. "It's great to come together to celebrate the Army birthday."
Units from all service branches, joined by civilians, lined up on the parade field in formation shortly after daybreak. Following Reveille at 6:30 a.m., the service members marched off the soggy field and onto English Avenue. The group picked up pace and transitioned into a run.
Led by a fire truck and Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas J. Latter, service members ran through the installation carrying unit flags and singing cadences.
Around 7 a.m., runners arrived back at the parade field and returned to their formations before crowding around the gazebo for remarks from Rothstein, who discussed the importance of resiliency and wellness.
Rothstein said the new Army Wellness Center, which is scheduled to open at the end of July on Llewellyn Avenue, will help improve the resiliency of the installation's service members and families.
"I'm absolutely committed to wellness, keeping ourselves fit mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially," Rothstein said. "We are going to do that by increasing wellness programs on the installation for our community. We're going to do that by building a resiliency center and campus that supports you, your family and the entire community.
"I'm absolutely committed that through strong leadership and sponsorship and embracing each other in everything we do, we will be a healthy, ready, fit service and an awesome Team Meade."
Rothstein also wished a happy birthday to the Army, which celebrated its 238th year of service June 14. The colonel also thanked the military for their service to the country and the installation.
"The strength of our nation are our Soldiers in uniform, our service members in uniform," he said. "The strength of us is our families and our community.
"I like to share one more step, and that is the strength of Team Meade and this Army post. It's all of you."