By Kari Hawkins, USAG RedstoneJune 25, 2010
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Nine-year-old Samuel Tucker Styes of Harvest came decked out in his own military uniform to the Armed Forces Celebration Week's Concert in the Park at Joe Davis Stadium.
He quickly made friends with the Veteran Memorial Museum's Randy Withrow, who showed the aspiring Soldier how a jeep from World War II is operated.
That haphazard exchange - the sharing of military history along with Army values with a public that is interested, curious and supportive - was par for the course during an Armed Forces Celebration Week event June 14 that has long been a community favorite. The Concert in the Park at Joe Davis Stadium featured patriotic music from the Huntsville Concert Bank, country and rock-n-roll music from the 530th Air Force Band "Reserve Generation," lots of ground and air hardware, and a fireworks display choreographed to patriotic music.
For some, it was hard to decide what to enjoy - the music in the stadium or the hardware parked out front.
"We're trying to get to the concert, but we're going through everything out here a lot slower than we expected. This is all pretty cool. It's neat to be able to see all the products," said Scott Harting while his children -- Zach, 12, and Nicole, 8 -- climbed in and out of Humvees and helicopters. Harting works for the Light Utility Helicopter Product Office, Program Executive Office for Aviation. Their mom, Lori, works for the Integrated Materiel Management Center.
Hundreds of Soldiers and Marines stationed at Redstone Arsenal for advanced individual training enjoyed seeing the display of military force along with community support at the event.
"This was great. It was very patriotic. It made me feel great being a Soldier and serving this nation," Pvt. Chris Brasfield of Charlie Company said. "I'd like to see even more things like this."
Marine Pfc. Raymond Reed said the respect and appreciation he felt at the concert was a nice change from other experiences he's had as a young Marine.
"In my hometown in California, when I walk down the street in my uniform I can hear snickers," Reed said. "This is a little new to me. I love it. I love this patriotism."
Armed Forces Celebration Week is presented annually by the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, Madison County Commission, City of Huntsville, City of Madison and the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army with the assistance of many corporate sponsors.