By Andrew Brown McDonald Army Health Center Public AffairsJune 20, 2014
Fort Eustis, VA (June 20, 2014) -- The tables in the ballroom of the Fort Eustis Club were decked out with formal place settings, stemware, neatly folded linen napkins, and a military history calendar to commemorate the Army's 239th birthday and the 2014 Army Birthday Ball hosted by McDonald Army Health Center.
While most Soldiers donned either their dress or service dress uniforms with miniature medals and some with full-sized medals that hung around their necks, many of their companions wore beautiful, formal gowns that draped down to their feet.
In the reception area, Soldiers socialized before the start of the evening's festivities. Standing with their companions, officers and enlisted Soldiers, junior and senior alike, found pleasure in conversing with one another.
This was the start of a spectacular evening, one which is coordinated only once each year. This Army birthday celebration is an event where the Army celebrates its most important assets -- Soldiers and the civilians who support the U.S. Army.
At the start of the celebration, the bugler sounded "Call to Mess." Those in attendance were then directed to the receiving line where they were greeted by Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman (Ret.), the event's guest of honor, and COL Glenda J. Lock, the health center commander.
As it is customary, most birthday ball celebrations include a series of toasts. This year, traditional military toasts were rendered by COL Lock who toasted the nation; Lt. Gen. Keith Walker, Deputy Commanding General/Director, U.S. Army Capabilities Integrations Center, who toasted the Commander-in-Chief; and Command Sergeant Major Jessie Sharpe, 733rd Mission Support Group; who toasted the U.S. Army.
Finally, a toast was rendered to honor the nation's fallen comrades. This toast was made to recognize the missing and killed in action, and the suffering of service members who have been held in captivity.
On June 14, the Army turned 239 years old. Across the Army, units large and small commemorated this event with celebrations and cake-cutting ceremonies of their own. Here, at the 2014 Fort Eustis Army Birthday Ball, Soldiers and their spouses gathered to celebrate 239 years of service to the nation.
During the ceremony, COL Lock presented Maj. Gen. Weightman with a gift on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Project. She then joined him in the traditional cutting of the 239th Army Birthday cake. In keeping with the Army Birthday's traditional custom, the eldest and youngest Soldiers present were called to the front to cut the birthday cake. Respectively, these Soldiers were Maj. Gen. Mark MacCarley, Deputy Commander/Deputy Chief of Staff (TRADOC), and Private 1st Class Shaiona Edington, a Healthcare Specialist (68W), currently assigned to McDonald Army Health Center's Troop Medical Clinic One.
Happy Birthday, United States Army… Hooah!!!