Hundreds of Fort Campbell Soldiers piled into the newly refreshed Warrior Zone Nov. 24 to tour the facility, fellowship and enjoy a few tunes sung by country music artist John Rich.
After being closed 60 days for improvements to be made, Soldiers were welcomed into the space to celebrate its return to normal operations.
Division and garrison leaders greeted Soldiers as they took in the sights and sounds of the venue.
“The Warrior Zone is your place,” said Col. Andrew Q. Jordan, Fort Campbell garrison commander, as he addressed the audience. “It’s your place to get away and have a good time and forget about what you’ve got going on in your unit and just relax, have some great food, grab some drinks, hang out with your friends, make some new friends and just be a young person.”
Guests were treated to free samples from the revised menu at the Warrior Zone, which features chicken wings, soft pretzel bites, sliders and flat breads.
Rich opened the performance by sharing with the Soldiers how appreciative civilians are of their service.
“We love our military. We love them and when I say we, I mean the civilians, the people who live in this country,” Rich said. “We love our military and we know without a shadow of a doubt that we would not have the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness if it weren’t for the United States military.”
Then, he grabbed his guitar and dove into a performance of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”
A community effort
The Fort Campbell Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation spearheaded the update of the Warrior Zone alongside Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, or BOSS, volunteers.
Staff Sergeant Russell Lovelace, BOSS, president, said more than 60 Soldiers put in 1,400 hours of volunteer service to get the facility up and running and without them the project would not have been possible.
Jordan and Lovelace presented awards to Soldiers who put in outstanding effort to bring the Warrior Zone to life and said their assistance was essential to getting the building into working shape.
“We have Soldiers that stayed until 3 a.m. to get this job done and then went to PT, so that tells me that you guys want the success of this building and this program,” Jordan said.
Lovelace was impressed with how much help he received given that the work took place during Operation Lethal Eagle, a three-week long Division Training Density.
“Without you guys this would not be here, and I cannot say that enough,” he said.
A place of respite
The Warrior Zone has a fresh coat of paint, a new menu, a stage where music and comedy nights will take place, new seating, a game room, and arcade-themed games as well.
Jordan said a facelift of this magnitude was sorely needed because the building hadn’t changed since the 1970s.
“About 60 days ago, this building looked like 1978. Now it looks like it does today, some phenomenal work by our team, your peers and your units,” Jordan said.
Private Elizabeth Alberto, 1st Lt. J. Robert Kalsu Replacement Company, is new to Fort Campbell and said she is impressed by the facility.
“I was told this would be a way to meet our new peers and get an introduction to Fort Campbell,” Alberto said. “It’s actually really nice, at other installations I’ve been to there wasn’t a place for Soldiers to go. It feels homey and it feels nice to be able to have fun in a safe way.”