As the Panther Brigade observes Military Family Month this November, we are grateful for the support our paratroopers receive from their families. The Panther Family’s dedication, service, understanding and eagerness to help is a tremendous benefit and we acknowledge the unique stress placed upon family members of the 82nd Airborne Division.
The health of the Panther Family directly contributes towards the readiness of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Leaders at all levels throughout the brigade constantly seek opportunities to strengthen our families through recognition of excellence, sharing of knowledge and tailored assistance.
The brigade’s Family Readiness Group continues to be agile and adaptive to the needs of its members as they navigate the complexity of being a military family. Members of the FRG continually serve as an excellent resource of subject-matter-expertise as they organize and conduct events strengthening the resilience of the Panther Family.
To each member of the Panther Family, thank you. Your support enables us to achieve mission success on any drop zone in the world.
Below is the Thanksgiving Day 1968 message issued by Brig. Gen. Alexander R. Bolling Jr., then-commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division while it was deployed as the Golden Brigade to combat operations in Vietnam.
“Thanksgiving Day, 1968 will be one that few of us in the 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division will ever forget. Almost every man in the brigade will put in a full day’s work, and most of that work will take place in the rice paddies and river-mud of our area of operations.
Though there may appear to be little thankful for, I think we can all be more than grateful that we are citizens of a great nation built on the principle of freedom. When you return home, you will all realize that there is no greater honor, no greater feeling of accomplishment than being a part of the citizen group that must defend that freedom. Ever man in this brigade will be able to stand tall with pride as he remembers the hardships of his tour in Vietnam.
I shall do everything I can to make your Thanksgiving Day as pleasant as the tactical situation will permit. During the day, I shall give thanks for the honor of serving with the All American troopers of the 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division. I shall also give thanks for the knowledge that your effort this year will guarantee a happy Thanksgiving for you next year – and for your children in the years to come.”
On Veterans Day, we pause to reflect on the sacrifice made by men and women to ensure the freedom of our great nation. CSM Teakell and I are grateful to all veterans who have served and continue to serve with honor; the Panther Brigade, our Army and our Nation are better thanks to your contributions.
We are blessed to live in a nation that celebrates its veterans. As you enjoy today, I ask you share conversation with fellow veterans of different services and conflicts to learn the story of their travels and service.
The Panther Brigade stands ready, competent and lethal thanks to the veterans within our ranks. Your experience keeps our edge sharp as we continue to remain prepared to jump, fight and win on any drop zone in the world.
COL Art Sellers – Brigade Commander
CSM Reese Teakell – Brigade Command Sergeant Major