by Maj. Kevin Toner and Spc. April York
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, began a partnership with the Air Force at Falcon Stadium Oct. 30.
Academy junior class cadets hosted a tailgate party for 2nd STB Soldiers and their Families in recognition of their efforts as part of the United States Air Force Academy’s Leaders in Flight Today program.
“It is about the American (Soldiers) putting their lives at risk every day to protect this nation. In honoring us, they honored all Soldiers, past, present, and future,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Stevenson, commander, 2nd STB.
As part of the Air Force’s recognition of the “Lonestar” Battalion, the Air Force Academy parachute team jumped-in the 2nd STB colors before the start of the game against the University of Utah.
During the first television timeout, the academy also recognized Stevenson; Command Sgt. Maj. Yolanda Tate, senior enlisted leader, 2nd STB; and four children of “Lonestar” Soldiers.
“This is the beginning of a great partnership between the Lonestars and the Air Force Academy. I am so proud that we were a part of this event and look forward to hosting future events with the … USAFA,” Stevenson said.
Family and Soldiers received free tickets to attend the game and were seated behind the cadets.
Before the game, tailgate events included face painting, pony rides, trunk-or-treat, cadet dance team demonstration and music provided by the USAFA cadet radio station.
“It is fun to spread USAFA spirit,” said Cadet Siobhan Hulslander, a member of the USAFA dance team.
The cadets prepared burgers and hotdogs and provided snacks and drinks for all Lonestar Family members and Soldiers.
As part of the LIFT program, cadets attend seminars and community outreach programs, said Cadet Dayna Grant, who was in charge of the event.
Although all junior cadets take part in the LIFT seminars, working at the tailgate was voluntary.
“I volunteered to cook because I wanted to do something for the community,” said Cadet Michael Alfred.
The theme for this year’s LIFT program is empathy, Grant said.
“We wanted to reach out to our Army neighbors who are in the fight to give their Families a breather,” she said.
“The tailgate was enjoyed by many,” said Spc. Ricky Thompson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd STB. “It is great
to get out of the motor pool and do something different and fun in the area.”
“The Soldiers and Families of the Special Troops Battalion had a great time,” Stevenson said. “We all want to thank the cadets of the Air Force Academy for hosting such an event.”