August 22, 2003, 12:23 EST

3-116th Infantry on display at Warren County Fair

By 1st Lt. Sonnie Louie
3-116th UPAR

Fair attendees got to try on load bearing equipment (LBE) for size.  (Photo courtesy 3rd Bn., 116th Inf. UPAR)  Click HERE to see more photos.

A handful of soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment went on active duty for a week in August to give the public a sample of the National Guard at the Warren County Fair. In addition to recruiting activities, soldiers set up informational displays about various systems, to include a field ambulance, a TOW launcher, machine guns, and a few others.  

“It's nice to hear people tell you how much they appreciate you,” commented Pfc. Lebo, reflecting on his public relations experience.   Most of the vendors and headlining performers, like wrestler Dusty Rhodes, musical group the Drifters, and singer Doug Stone had nothing but positive words to say in support of the military. The Drifters even took time out to view the displays and take a photo-op with the troops.

The unit started the summer with two strenuous two weeks of training at Fort A.P. Hill. They spent their July drill at home in Winchester where the soldiers recovered from their annual training by performing maintenance on vehicles and equipment.   Families of soldiers also came in to the armories on the Sunday of the July drill weekend for the annual family day picnic.   Wives and children relaxed in the afternoon, enjoying the food and seeing firsthand what their husbands and fathers did.
At the same time, a handful of soldiers flew out to Fort Leavenworth for two weeks to participate in the Division warfighter exercise.   While out in Kansas, members of the Headquarters element fought in a realistic computer simulated battle aimed at honing communications and decision-making abilities on the battlefield.   SPC Harry Brown of C Company received an AAM for his performance with the Brigade Headquarters, where he dealt with scenarios that were echelons above his normal work environment.
In August, the majority of HHC packed up to head back to Fort A.P.Hill to complete training for military assistance to civil disturbances (MACDIS).   The reconnaissance section, which had already completed their MACDIS training earlier in the year, remained at the armory to participate in a community carwash aimed at raising money for the unit family readiness fund. Winchester citizens supported us in full force, donating over $1,100.00 to the HHC's Unit and Family Readiness Group funds. Donations were $3.00-5.00 and more often than not, the public gave on an average between $10.00 and $20.00 per person.
The unit has gone through many positive changes in the last year, and plans to make events like these more common in the future, making arrangements for appearances at local high schools and other public gatherings.

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