FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The tradition continues on Fort Bragg. The 82nd Airborne Division Run is back after a hiatus due to the pandemic.
The paratroopers were up before the sun and ready to run.
"This is really one of those great signal moments to say we're all together, we're able to do these things and we're moving forward," said Lt. Col. Brett Lea.
The tradition is a part of All American Week, when paratroopers from past and present come together to celebrate their camaraderie. This year's event was extra special.
"It's absolutely important for all of us to come back together. If you look at what this division has been asked to do and what they've done for that nation over the last two years, it is incredible," said Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue.
Every element of this division has deployed over the last two years, and because of the pandemic and those deployments, the run has been postponed multiple times. Friday was the first time they'll run the four-mile stretch on Longstreet Road since 2019.
"For so many people this is their first time doing it. And they're extremely excited about doing it," Donahue said.
Friday morning, 17,000 paratroopers ran into the sunrise, celebrating the legacy of the 82nd.
"Being in the 82nd airborne division is just amazing. There's so much history that we have to live up to and honor and respect. And this is just a small way that we're doing that," Sgt. Jonathon Bienvenue said.