By Lori Grein USAG-DTA Public Affairs SpecialistMay 22, 2009
DETROIT ARSENAL, Mi. - An estimated 2,000 people celebrated Armed Forces Day at the Detroit Arsenal in Michigan Monday, May 18, 2009.
A first-class event honored generations of Warfighters-Soldiers from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and the Overseas contingency Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan-all brothers and sisters in arms who defended our Nation's values.
Mr. Alan Parks, Deputy Garrison Manager, explained the importance of such an occasion. "This Armed Forces Day event exemplifies the spirit of service and innovation for our Great Nation." Parks continues, "We're proud to join in community outreach with our Veteran organizations, and show them how their sacrifices and efforts have shaped the vehicle fleet to enable the Warfighters of today and tomorrow. They've all contributed to the greatness of the US Military and the missions here at the Detroit Arsenal."
To launch the festivities, two A10 Thunderbolt II aircrafts flew in succession overhead, welcoming Soldiers, Families, Retirees, Civilians, Veterans, and community leaders to the day-long event.
The "Andrews Sisters" singers and the Rhythm Society Orchestra WWII USO Show set the tone as guests were invited to dance to the sounds of "Glenn Miller". Food and beverage was provided by FMWR, and visitors enjoyed meandering through the table displays and information booths, filling their bags with mementoes donated by local organizations.
Vehicles from "then" and "now" lined the streets of the Arsenal. From a 1942 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle to a WWII "Deuce and a Half" to a M8 Armored Car to a Korean War M38, many of the vehicles from yesteryear came outfitted with volunteers who wore uniforms of the era.
Current vehicles included the MIA2 SEP Abrams Tank, a Stryker armored vehicle, representation from the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, MRAPs, a Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle, and an Armored Security Vehicle. Future systems were also on site and included robotics demonstrations, Future Combat Systems displays, and a Joint Light Tactical Vehicles exhibit.
An event highlight incorporated celebrating "The Year of the Non-commissioned Officer (NCO)". Brenda Lee McCullough, Garrison Manager, welcomed SSG Robert E. Ankobea-Ansah, 2009 TACOM LCMC NCO of the Year, to the event and expressed her appreciation for his exemplary dedication, hard work, and committment to serving our country.
Armed Forces Day brings the community together to recognize the great men and women who work in defense of freedom, democracy and equality. The USAG-Detroit Arsenal proudly recognizes their contributions and thanks them for making the U.S. Military the finest in the World.