Soldiers kick off All American Week


"We celebrate our heritage, we bring back our veterans from all previous wars, we bring back our wounded warriors, and most importantly, we invite our Gold Star families and the families of our fallen, to be here with us," Maj. Gen. John W. Nicholson, Jr. said.

The event was not held last year, because 10,000 of Monday's runners were serving in Afghanistan.

This year, they said despite Monday's rainy weather, they have a reason to celebrate. After more than a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the entire 82nd Airborne Division is back home.

"The message to the world should be that we're not tired," Command Sgt. Maj. LaMarquis Knowles said. "At the end of the day after 12 years of enduring combat, we're still ready to go anywhere, anytime. Eighteen hours or less, we're ready to go."

At least one soldier had difficulty during Monday's run. He was medevaced to Womack Army Hospital for treatment. Further details about his condition have not been released.

All American Week 2013 festivities will be held all week until Friday.

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