LOUISVILLE, KY – A record breaking crowd filled Lynn Family Stadium Saturday evening when the Racing Louisville Football Club hosted the Chicago Red Stars for the second meeting of the two teams this season in the National Women’s Soccer League.
But it was what took place before the game that gave attendees a unique opportunity. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) were set up to give fans a little taste of Army life.
Kids and adults alike had the opportunity to test their abilities in a hands on demonstration of the Army Combat Fitness Test. Including a ball throw competition with prizes for the furthest male and female throws. Participants were also able to try pull ups, the sprint-drag-carry and other events.
As the only Air Assault Division in the Army, 101st Soldiers from The Sabalauski Air Assault School were also on hand to answer questions and demonstrate some air assault skills. Screaming Eagle Soldiers also had a static display of military equipment including an Infantry Squad Vehicle and Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck for fans young and old to climb in and check out.
“I loved seeing the cool trucks and getting to honk the horn.” Said Hunter Smith, 10, of Louisville, Ky.
The military is always in the forefront of innovation and fans at the game got to experience this as well. Eaglewerx, the 101st Airborne Division’s Applied Tactical Innovation Center was set up as well and demonstrated how ideas can take shape into actual products or procedures to improve Soldiers’ safety, efficiency or quality of life.
After all the hands on activities, exploring vehicles and asking and answering of questions with Soldiers, the fans found their seats ready for the game to begin. Before that though, six of the Army’s newest Soldiers took the field to re-enact their oath of enlistment in front of their friends, family and the crowd of 8,729 spectators.
“This was a great opportunity for Soldiers to come out into the community and share some of what they do every day with our community members.” Said Maj. Danny Mathews, Deputy Public Affairs Officer of the 101st Airborne Division. “It’s important for us to be part of events like this to strengthen the bond we have with people in the areas we work and live.”
As the National Anthem was completed, spectators witnessed the 101st in action again as two UH-60M Blackhawk Helicopters from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade flew over the stadium to cheers and applause.
Unfortunately the Racing Louisville Football Club were unable to come away with a victory losing to the Red Stars 4-0. The fans all still left with a unique experience they could talk about and share what they learned about the Army and the 101st Airborne Division.