By 82nd Airborne Division Public AffairsMay 23, 2011
It's no secret that the 82nd Airborne Division separates itself from fighting forces around the globe by way of its proud history and unmatched competency.
It is the combination of the Division's ability to look back and learn from its standard-setting pioneer Paratroopers in concert with the modern flexibility, physical toughness, and mental acuity that define today's Paratrooper keeping the 82nd Airborne Division legacy alive.
"Getting back to basics is getting back to the fundamentals of being a Paratrooper," said Maj. Gen. Jim Huggins, commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division. "We are constantly concentrating on honing our skills that have defined our legacy, so it is fit that All American Week this year honors that legacy."
The week of competition and festivities started with a Division four-mile run. With the whole Division back at home station for the first time since 2006, more than 20,000 Paratroopers flooded Longstreet running to cadences and the sounds of the All American Rock Band.
"It is a great way to start the week. We train hard all the time to be mentally and physically tough so a good four-mile run works for me," said Pfc. Matt Nixon, topographic analyst, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
Veterans, service members and their Families came from all over the country to participate in the events and get the "All American" experience.
"It is always great to get out here and support our Paratroopers," said Leo Hobson, a former division Paratrooper. "It is truly amazing what you all do."
During this year's division review, Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Steven England, former command sergeant major of the division, was the guest of honor.
To the Veterans, England had this to say: "You still have that steely-eyed look of confidence."
England went on to praise today's Paratroopers, giving the most important acknowledgements to their families.
"Most importantly, to the families of the Paratroopers on the field: I appreciate your unfailing commitment and support to these great Soldiers in our Army" said England.
After the review, the emotional highlight of the week came during the memorial ceremony at the 82nd Airborne Division museum. Here past and present Paratroopers honored fallen paratroopers and their families during the ceremony.
"It is a visible reminder of our words that we speak that we'll never forget, from the 82nd Airborne Division for those of us that are here wearing the patch today, I can promise you that we will live up to those words," said Huggins.