By SPC Simon Castillo, 53rd Signal BattalionJuly 28, 2011
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Soldiers from Company C, 53rd Signal Battalion joined Soldiers from U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern to show their appreciation for their local commissary by adding groceries to their morning physical training.
Co. C had a team of 10 Soldiers competing with dozens of troops during Commissary Appreciation Day, held June 24 at the Vogelweh Commissary. The Garrison’s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program supported the annual event, and the commissary provided props for some unique competitions.
“It’s our business to support events like this through our industry partners,” said DeCA Europe spokeswoman Leslie Brown. “If it weren’t for the military men and women, we wouldn’t have a mission. We appreciate their patronage and their service to our country.”
The morning began with shopping cart relay races around the track. Each team had to complete two, 1/3-mile laps while pushing an empty shopping cart. Co. C completed the race with the fastest time, winning the first event.
The day’s second event again had the Soldiers racing on foot, this time, running a lap while balancing an egg on a spoon clenched between their teeth. Co. C again showed their dominance, winning the event. A pushup competition was made more interesting when Soldiers pressed to muscle failure with heavy sacks of dog food on their shoulders, C Company won their 3rd event with 293 pushups.
“30 lbs of dog food was tough, but I really wanted to win this for the team,” said Staff Sgt Danial Zweifel.
Soldiers then broke for breakfast provided by the commissary and BOSS. They saved a few eggs for a toss that left several troops with handfuls of yolks. The fourth event was the egg toss, which consisted of three teams of two, and they were only allowed to drop three eggs. Alas, Co. C was brought down from the top seat of this event and left with only a handful of yolk.
The last event of the day brought the Soldiers inside the commissary to compete in a shopping spree. Working in teams of three, they had two minutes to fill a cart. The highest dollar value would win. Two teams racked up bills of more than $1000. Co. C was the winner with a bill of $1260. In the end, it did not matter, because the Vogelweh commissary "part of the Kaiserslautern-headquartered Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Europe, " allowed each team to keep their haul.
“We all had a blast, and I can’t wait to compete again next year!” an excited Spc. Simon Castillo exclaimed.
The team then took their groceries to the parking lot and divided it. First was to supply the Family Readiness Group with anything that could be useful for them. Then the single Soldiers in the barracks were supplied. Finally, what was left was divided between the team members as the spoils of victory! Co. C was also awarded the DeCA Europe Cup, which sits in the company’s trophy case.
Co. C is one of six companies worldwide that make up the 53rd Signal Battalion which is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo. Their mission is to provide continuous communications transmissions and satellite payload control of the Department of Defense Wideband Constellation.