Fort McCoy News June 27, 2014

Fort McCoy celebrates Army's 239th birthday

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

The Fort McCoy community celebrated the U.S. Army's 239th birthday with events throughout the day June 13.

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An employee from the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hands out a T-shirt at McCoy's Community Club during the free drive-through breakfast event as part of Army birthday festivities. Photo by Jobi Spolum

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Dorothy "Dottie" Oakes of Warrens, Wis., is presented with the Commander's Award for Public Service by Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott at Fort McCoy's Constitution Park during the start of the Army Birthday Luncheon. Oakes, known for making cakes for Soldiers, has given more than 600 cakes to Soldiers, to date. Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

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Members of the Fort McCoy community are served free food during the Army Birthday Luncheon in Constitution Park. Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

More than 300 people lined up and finished the Commander's 5K Run Challenge at the Rumpel Fitness Center.

At McCoy's Community Club, people were treated to a free drive-through breakfast as well as free T-shirts emblazoned with "Happy 239th Birthday." McCoy's also offered six hours of free bowling to the post community.

At Constitution Park, hot dogs, brats and a host of side dishes were served at the Army Birthday Luncheon that was open to everyone.

Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott began the luncheon with a welcome to everyone and said "thank you" to all who serve at Fort McCoy. He also said it is proper to recognize all the Army has done for this nation since it was created.

"Our Army predates the establishment of our nation by 13 months," Nott said. "You might ask how you could have an Army without a nation. The more important question is how can you have a nation without an Army? Our Army is what helped establish this nation."

According to history, the U.S. Army was founded on June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of riflemen from the New England army to serve for one year.

"Our Army has carried our nation's colors in a number of places throughout the world in history," Nott said. "It is proper that we celebrate the legacy of the brave men and women who have secured our freedom through centuries of service at home and abroad."

As part of the celebration, Nott recognized Dorothy "Dottie" Oakes of Warrens, Wis., with the Commander's Award for Public Service. Oakes, known for making cakes for Soldiers, has made and given more than 600 cakes to Soldiers, to date, Nott said.

Additionally, Oakes and Fort McCoy's most junior-ranking Soldier, Pvt. Raymond Rickey, sliced the birthday cake.

In addition to the luncheon, free car washes were offered at the post automated car wash facility for an eight-hour period.

The Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) coordinated the day's events. Jobi Spolum, DFMWR Marketing director, said she was happy to see a good turn-out for all the events.

"From a marketing standpoint, we were very happy to see there were a lot of participants who were Soldiers here for training," Spolum said. "We're glad the information was passed along to them so they could enjoy everything as well."

Overall, the day's events were a great success, said DFMWR Acting Director Jeff Uhlig.

"This (observance) is really what embodies our organization," Uhlig said. "This was an event put on for the Soldiers and the entire Fort McCoy community that went very well. To do these things and do them well is our mission and our goal."