COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division and units throughout Fort Carson joined together with servicemembers from the Colorado Springs area to celebrate the local community's military appreciation day with the Red, White and Brave Welcome Home Parade Aug. 29.
The mayor of Colorado Springs, Lionel Rivera, called upon the local community, its citizens, businesses and organizations, to support and honor America's men and women serving in uniform and their Families.
"This was a chance for the community of Colorado Springs to show their appreciation to all those who serve our nation, to all the troops who have recently returned from deployment, and also to welcome the 4th Infantry Division back to Fort Carson," said Maj. Gen. David Perkins commanding general, 4th Inf. Div.
The parade provided an opportunity for Soldiers and citizens alike to honor the troops returning from their recent deployments overseas and to celebrate the close relationship between the local community and businesses of Colorado Springs, said Perkins.
More than 40,000 citizens of Colorado Springs and the Greater Colorado area turned out to welcome home returning Soldiers and to support the troops who have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Thousands lined the streets waving American flags and posters reading, "Welcome Home," extending an open hand to the Soldiers of the 4th Inf. Div., which has been called upon three times in the last six years to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The cheering crowds and waving banners served as a testament to the local community's love for the "Ironhorse" Division, said U.S. Army Veteran Alfredo Deljeo.
"I came out to support the troops coming home and wish them well, and especially to see the 4th Division," said Deljeo, who served in 2nd Brigade, 4th Inf. Div. during the Vietnam War and settled in the Colorado Springs area after completing his term of service.
Perkins led the procession, followed by the 4th Inf. Div. Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey and Soldiers of the 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, as well U.S. Air Force Academy Cadets, Airmen and Sailors.
Perkins, who presided as the parade's Grand Marshal, said that the special event gave servicemembers affirmation that what they do is appreciated.
Amidst the military fanfare, local high schools, civic organizations and demonstrated their support of the Armed Forces by participating in the Red, White and Brave Parade.
Dailey, the 4th Inf. Div.'s senior enlisted leader, said if not for the support of the local communities, Fort Carson and would not be able to accomplish its mission to train and deploy Soldiers to answer the nation's call.
"The Colorado Springs and Greater Colorado Community has done such an outstanding job during the past six years that we have been at war and continue to do an outstanding job supporting all the troops," said Dailey.
"Our Soldiers, here at Fort Carson, are extremely grateful for the support and look forward to building upon community relationships and continuing this great partnership with the Colorado Springs and surrounding communities," Dailey said.
The 4th Inf. Div. Headquarters, Division Special Troops Battalion, and 1st Brigade Combat Team, recently returned to Fort Carson after serving more than 14 years at Fort Hood.
The "Ivy" Division called Fort Carson home in 1970 when the division returned from Vietnam until later relocating its forces in 1995 to the installation in Central Texas.
Following the parade the Soldiers and Airmen regrouped at Monument Valley Park where a luncheon of hot dogs and sherbet was provided by local businesses and civic organizations.