By Yvette Smith, Courier staffMay 12, 2014
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- For more than 40 years, Week of the Eagles has been a Fort Campbell tradition that has honored past and present 101st Airborne Division Soldiers. This year's Week of the Eagles will kick off May 16 with its historic division run, led by Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, and division Command Sgt. Maj. Alonzo J. Smith.
The 2014 Week of the Eagle's theme, "Remembering the 101st in Vietnam: Building on the legacy of courage and strength," will be emphasized throughout the week as the division highlights and honors Screaming Eagle and Fort Campbell Soldiers who served in Vietnam. The weeklong event will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the deployment of the 101st Airborne Division to Vietnam, as well as the storied division's 72nd anniversary.
"The main purpose of the Week of the Eagles is to help honor the Soldiers of the 101st and Fort Campbell and the unit lineage and history within the division," said Sgt. Maj. Steven McNally, WoE project manager.
The division run will be followed by the Fort Campbell's Morale, Welfare and Recreation 2014 Week of the Eagles Concert May 16 at the division parade field that afternoon. Soldiers, Families, retirees and civilians are invited to the free event, which begins at 4 p.m.
Headlining this year's concert is contemporary country music duo Big & Rich. Joining them onstage will be their special guest Cowboy Troy, as well Mallary Hope and Joe Diffie. The concert will kick-off with the installation's very own 101st Airborne Division Band.
"Additionally, guests will be able to preview the static displays for our Spectacular Saturday event, which will include [CH-47] Chinook, [AH-64] Apache, [UH-60] Black Hawk and [OH-58] Kiowa helicopters and land vehicles including a HMMWV and MRAP," said Melissa Schaffner, Fort Campbell Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing director. "The concert is free and open to the public. The parade field will open at 3 p.m. for concert-goers."
"Spectacular Saturday," which runs May 17 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., will consist of a car show, community fair, farmer's market, static displays and a kids zone, that includes more than 25 inflatables and a toddler town.
"We also have a zip-line for the first time ever," said Schaffner. "Lots of great vendors, lots of free Family fun. It's going to be a great festival atmosphere and everyone is welcome."
The remainder of the week has a traditional lineup of events scheduled, filled with something for everyone. Events include an Army combatives competition, a Best Air Assault Soldier competition, the Legacy golf tournament, unit open houses, various Soldier sporting events, a 10K/5K memorial run and more. For a complete listing of events, visit www.fortcampbellmwr.com/WOE.
Gold Star Families and friends who have lost loved ones are encouraged to participate in the memorial run, May 19 at 6:30 a.m. Other unit specific memorial ceremonies are being facilitated by organizations on post.
Closing out the Week of the Eagles will be the traditional division review, May 22 at 10 a.m. Soldiers, Veterans, Families and members of the community can gather on the division parade field and look on as the Soldiers and Veterans of the 101st line up in formation for the formal military ceremony - pass-in-review.
"... we are conducting an Honor Eagle ceremony following the division review. Brig. Gen. Andrew Poppas and Brig. Gen. Ronald Lewis will be honored for their service in the 101st," said McNally.
SCHEDULE of EVENTS
Open daily from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. at The Sgt. Brett T. Christian Tax Center, 2699 Kentucky Ave.
•6:30 a.m. Division Run, Division Headquarters
•4 p.m. Big & Rich concert
•8 a.m. Legacy Golf Tournament
•11 a.m. Unit Open Houses/Lunches
•11a.m. until 4 p.m. Spectacular Saturday Community Fair, Division Parade Field
•11a.m. until 4 p.m Car Show, Division Parade Field
•5 p.m. Rendezvous BBQ
•9 a.m. Combative Weigh-Ins
•9 a.m. Memorial Ceremony, McAuliffe Hall, Division Headquarters
•6:30 a.m. 10K/5K
•9 a.m. Combative Tournaments
•9 a.m. Sports Events
•4 p.m. Champions of Fort Campbell Ceremony
•3 a.m. Best Air Assault Soldier Competition
•9 a.m. Combative Finals
•9 a.m. Sports Events Semi-Finals
•9 a.m. Marksmanship Competition
•4:30 p.m. Commander vs Sergeant Major Softball Game
•1 p.m. Softball/Basketball Finals
•3 p.m. Soccer/Volleyball Finals
•10 a.m. Division Review
•10:30 a.m. CG presents awards for events at Division Parade Field
•4 p.m. Honor Eagle for Brig. Gen. Ronald Lewis and Brig. Gen. Andrew Poppas