By Jordan Chapman, 1st Infantry Division PAOJuly 23, 2009
Fort Riley Soldiers, Families and community members will have a multitude of activities to participate in during Victory Week, July 27 to 31, including activities, ceremonies, festivals and athletic events.
Soldiers and those in surrounding communities are invited to take part in this annual event, held to honor current and former members of the 1st Infantry Division and affiliated units, commemorate fallen warriors, induct nominated members of the 1st Inf. Div. Distinguished Members of the Regiment and celebrate the Big Red One's lineage and history.
The week will start off with the Victory Run, an event that all 1st Inf. Div. units have formally invited their partner communities to observe.
The run will begin at 6:30 a.m. at Custer Hill Parade Field, and will feature about 16,000 Soldiers running in formation about four miles on a route that will take them all the way around Custer Hill.
Another event sure to be a crowd pleaser will be the boxing and combatives finals that will take place at 2:30 p.m. July 29 in Building 88312 on Custer Hill, an event residents from the surrounding communities are invited to attend.
According to Maj. Mark Pappal, assistant S-3 for the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, last year's boxing matches featured about 40 bouts throughout a week period and he expects at least that many again this year. Additionally, refreshments and snacks will be available for purchase for those who attend.
No matter the victor of the boxing and combatives, however, gloves will be put aside as both Fort Riley and surrounding community leaders and citizens gather for the Victory Park Ceremony at 3 p.m. July 30 at division headquarters.
Families of fallen Soldiers will be in attendance at the ceremony, which will include all of the 1st Inf. Div. colors; the color guard; remarks by Maj. Gen. Vincent Brooks, commanding general of the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley; a wreath laying; the unveiling of fallen Soldier stones; and a 21-gun salute by the firing detail.
This ceremony will be completed rain or shine to symbolize the dedication to duty shown by each fallen Soldier. The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which will take place in Victory Park outside the 1st Inf. Div. Headquarters, Building 580 on 1st Division Road.
Following Thursday's somber ceremonies will be a day full of celebration and Family activities beginning with the division review at 9 a.m. July 31, in the vicinity of the Infantry Parade Field, and ending with the Victory Week Celebration at 5 p.m. in the same field.
"This is an event that encompasses so many elements, so there is something for everyone," said Melissa Kinney, Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing chief.
At the festival, Soldiers and community members will have the chance to view 30 to 50 cars in a car show; watch five civilian bands battle each other to song's end starting at 7 p.m.; enjoy a Keni Thomas concert from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m.; and witness a slew of fireworks set to the music of the 1st Inf. Div. Band following the show.
Inflatable and see-through paintball courses, a rock wall, a scavenger hunt and Air Soft demonstrations will be available for adults. Air Soft is a game in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with 6mm plastic bb bullets. Face painting, balloon animals, a ring toss and food booths will be available for children.
Just prior to the concert, Fort Riley and 1st Inf. Div. leaders and Families will re-sign the Army Family Covenant.
"It gives community members a chance to come on post and see and celebrate what the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley does for the Soldiers," Kinney said. "That support from the community is the key to making Fort Riley the ideal installation that Soldiers want to come to."