FORT BRAGG (WTVD) --More than 15,000 paratroopers kicked off All-American week at Fort Bragg Monday morning with a 4-mile Division Run.
Members of the 82nd Airborne Division have a very grueling job fighting for our freedom. And All-American week is one of the few times they can let loose.
"It's a time to get together and everything, have fun and sing some cadence along the way," said Specialist Dale Miller Jr., of the 82nd Airborne Division.
The week celebrates the 82nd Airborne Division, which will mark its 99th anniversary this summer.
Monday marked one of the few times in about 15 years that most members of the Division were at Fort Bragg instead of in Afghanistan. Currently, only about 25 members of the 82nd Airborne are deployed in Afghanistan.
"All the comradery, all the different units getting together and basically celebrating past, present and future paratroopers," said Sgt. Jasmine Smith, of the 82nd Airborne Division.
The theme is "Tomorrow's Force Today," highlighting the Division's readiness.
"The 82nd Airborne Division is America's guard of honor and were there to protect this country and it's always been that way to protect the country," said Veteran Alan Schoppe, President of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. "These paratroopers from World War II set the stage for the paratroopers today."
The run isn't timed but these competitive paratroopers keep up the pace.
"It'll smoke you after a while," said Private First Class William Long, of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Family members and Veterans cheered on the runners.
"Just being here at Fort Bragg, brings back so many memories," Schoppe said. "We're young we're stupid we had fun and it just brings back all those memories. We get young again."
There are other events going on this week as part of All-American week. Some of those events are open to the public.
A list of this week's activities is available on the 82nd Airborne Division's official Facebook page.