By Staff Sgt. Kenneth Foss and Sgt. Blair Neelands, 1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office June 30, 2011
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Fort Drum Soldiers participated in friendly sports competitions last week as part of the Mountainfest celebration to stimulate esprit de corps within 10th Mountain Division (LI).
The week kicked off with a flag football game and basketball tournaments, where Soldiers from every unit on post formed teams in attempts to secure this year’s bragging rights while enjoying some fun in the sun away from their normal day-to-day responsibilities.
“You can tell these units really want to win,” said Diane M. Sykes, sports secretary for Fort Drum’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation office.
Throughout the week, Soldiers battled in tug-of-war, soccer, softball, volleyball and bowling to build camaraderie within the units and the Fort Drum community by bringing them together through these sporting events.
“It’s a time to get frustrations out and have a good time,” said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Richardson, of 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. “It’s about everybody, not just the Soldier.”
Mountainfest sporting events give Families, friends and community members opportunities to show their support by rooting for the competing units.
Additionally, it gives family readiness groups a chance to raise money for their associated units by providing an array of food items for onlookers and competing athletes while also fostering a friendly atmosphere to integrate new Soldiers and their Families into the division.
“It makes it more welcoming,” said Amanda Gould, new spouse of Pvt. Enrique Murray, a member of 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
The success of the week was made possible by the collective efforts and extensive planning of the division’s Soldiers and Family Members along with the coordination and immeasurable experience of the FMWR’s staff.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s all worth it,” said Sykes, a 24-year FMWR employee.
This year’s Mountainfest sports competition winners and new bragging rights holders are as follows:
Soldiers of C Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment took home the tug-of-war and basketball trophies. Members of 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment won the flag football bragging rights. Two Soldiers from 210th Brigade Support Battalion finished first in the 5K run; Elliott Megquier won the men’s division, while Ismania Bonilla won the women’s division.
Members of 10th Brigade Support Battalion triumphed in the softball tournament; 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment won the bowling event; 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment claimed the soccer tournament trophy; and 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment won the sand volleyball victory.