National Airborne Day, August 16th
On August 14th, 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed National Airborne Day. Nearly six years later, on August 3rd, 2009, the US Senate of the 111th Congress recognized National Airborne Day with Senate Resolution 235 to commemorate the date of the first official Army parachute jump at Ft. Benning, GA, August 16th, 1940. The successful jump validated the innovative concept of inserting U.S. ground combat forces behind a battle line by parachute. These sky soldiers represent some of the most prestigious and expertly trained forces in the United States Army.
Currently, in the U.S. Army, two airborne divisions operate. The 82nd Airborne Division out of Ft. Bragg, North Carolina began as an infantry division. During World War I, the 82nd Division was activated on 25 August 1917 at Camp Gordon. In 1918, they earned the nickname All American for the composition of their division. Since the soldiers came not only from all across the United States, but several were immigrants. The 82nd Division represented all of America as few other divisions did at the time.
The second and still active airborne division had a short-lived beginning. During World War I, the 101st Airborne Division was organized for a short while on November 2, 1918. However, the war ended shortly after de-activating 101st. During World War II, the Screaming Eagles re-activated on August 16, 1942, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. They currently make their home at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.
Both units have served around the world in combat, peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions. VES thanks you all for your dedication to and your protection of this wonderful nation we call home.
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