Darby Military Community celebrates birthdays a little differently than other installations. Where else within the Army, besides Camp Darby, can you celebrate the Army's Birthday at the beach? That was the driving force behind the Darby Military Community 238th Army Birthday Celebration at the American Beach June 21.
On June 14, 1775 the Second Continental Congress adopted the militia from New England who had banded together in rebellion against British Troops. This event marked the beginning of the Continental Army, now called the U.S. Army. Currently in its 238th year, the Army continues to be an all volunteer force fighting for freedom and keeping the peace.
"Today we continue to defend our country and or ideals as we have done for the past 238 years; responding to something we refer to as 'Call to Duty,'" Sgt. Jonathan Santiago, Radiologist Specialist at Livorno Army Health Center, said. "But what is 'Call to Duty?'… it is an ideal that conveys a sense or moral commitment or obligation to someone or something."
Santiago was the guest speaker at the DMC Army Birthday Celebration. Santiago's accomplishments include 2013 Camp Darby Soldier of the Year and Camp Darby Noncommissioned Officer Best Warrior for 2013.
"The Army answered the Call to Duty by sacrificing personal comfort and safety for the good of our nation," said Santiago. "You see when the wolf growls at our doors it's the Soldier that makes the ultimate sacrifice."
This ultimate sacrifice and the sacrifices of Army families, help make the Army the oldest and proudest force of the United States of America.
Following the guest speaker, there was a birthday cake cutting ceremony; and remarks from Col. David Buckingham, USAG Vicenza Garrison commander and Lawrence Kilgore, Darby Military Community Deputy Garrison manager. According to Army traditions the most senior Soldier, Sgt. 1st Class John Drummond, and the most junior Soldier, Spc. Christopher Jackson, cut the official birthday cake.
Following the singing of the Army song, the DMC Celebration of the Army's 238th Birthday concluded in true Darby style with the sun setting over the ocean in Tuscany.