By U.S. ArmyAugust 19, 2010
FORT STEWART, Ga. - More than 100 spouses and children of 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Soldiers, extended Family Members, friends, fellow Soldiers and the garrison command team honored their Soldier serving in Iraq with a one-mile "Yellow Ribbon Walk" to Iraq, Aug. 14.
Everyone began assembling on a very soggy Cottrell Field around 8 a.m. as the Marne-tron blasted shout-outs from 4th IBCT Soldiers. Following an invocation by Chaplain (Col.) Warren Kirby, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield garrison chaplain, and opening remarks by Stewart-Hunter Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Milton, everyone began lining up at the corner of 6th Street and Gulick Avenue.
Some walked; some jogged. Some dads carried children on their shoulders; some moms pushed their little ones in strollers. Others pulled wagons loaded with children too old to be in strollers but too young to make the one-mile walk. Even four-legged Family Members participated. Event organizer and 4th IBCT Family Readiness Support Assistance leader, Traci Wheeler, brought along "Rocky," her bulldog who was dressed for a successful walk in his Army sports shirt, lucky #13. Colonel Milton's wife, Christi, brought along their Family dog, a Labrador-mix. Other dogs included an American-English bulldog, a Pomeranian and at least one full-blooded mutt.
Several older children carried large posters designating the brigade or their parent's specific battalion. Some held their mom's hand as they walked; others were more independent and ran ahead of mom or dad - at least for the first quarter-mile. After that, most remained by Mom's side, continually asking how much further they had to go. The 100 or more walker-runners, who began as one massive group, were pretty well spread out by the time the first people crossed the finish line.
Wheeler said the 4th IBCT's next Yellow Ribbon Walk is scheduled for January, rather than December, so as not to interfere with Christmas vacation plans.