Category Archives: Panther Family

3rd Brigade Cav Families Foster Community Through Fitness

Family members, of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers, gathered to strengthen their bodies, minds and community.

Spouses of paratroopers assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment participated in the inaugural “Airborne Thunder” fitness event on Aug. 8, 2018 inside Fort Bragg, N.C. at Pope Army Airfield’s Woodland Park.

Spouses from the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division run during the inaugural Airborne Thunder at Pope Army Airfield’s Woodland Park on Aug. 8, 2018.

“Airborne Thunders foster community through fitness. Creating an opportunity for our spouses to connect through fitness, sports and recreation improves not only physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, but encourages relationships among the Recon family,” said Mrs. Jen Hartsock, the 5-73 CAV’s Family Readiness Group Advisor.

Spouses of the Cavalry Squadron met at Woodland Park in the morning to conduct numerous fitness events designed to improve their cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Exercises in the fitness circuit included kettlebell squats, dips and a distance run.

“Today we offered a wide variety of workout to accommodate fitness levels. I’m inspired to say that the majority of the spouses who attended today either just had babies or are expecting,” said Hartsock. “The workout was geared to challenge even the fittest while accommodating those unable to participate in a high impact physical event.”

Two spouses of paratroopers assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division perform kettlebell squats during the inaugural Airborne Thunder at Pope Army Airfield’s Woodland Park on Aug. 8, 2018.

In celebration of the coming school year, children were also invited to attend. They enjoyed a nearby playground and an opportunity to have their face painted and receive school supplies.

At the conclusion of Airborne Thunder, senior leadership from the Cavalry Squadron spoke with the spouses about the unit’s future training events and other opportunities for them to participate as members of the Family Readiness Group.

“Behind many of our strong soldiers are strong spouses. Gathering together helps create authentic connections which are especially important,” said Harstock.

“Heaven Recognizes Him as a Hero”

An 82nd Airborne Division legend was recently laid to rest.

The life, valor and accomplishments of retired Army 1st Sgt. Harold Eatman were celebrated during his funeral services held July 11 at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Charlotte, North Carolina. Eatman died in the first week of July 2018 at the age of 102.

The casket of retired 1st Sgt. Harold Eatman is carried by paratroopers of the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment from the Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Charlotte, North Carolina after his funeral July 11, 2018. Eatman was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 505th PIR and conducted combat jumps into Sicily, Salerno, Normandy and Holland during World War II.

“Today we celebrate the life and remember a true hero and we pray he is soon welcomed into the arms of our heavenly Father,” said Fr. Christopher Roux, the Pastor of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral during Eatman’s funeral service.

Eatman was a member of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and participated in the regiment’s four combat jumps into Sicily, Salerno, Normandy and Holland during World War II. He volunteered for the Army in early 1942 after learning of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and served his first tour of duty in Hawaii. There, he reenlisted to join the newly forming paratroop units and was assigned to the 505th PIR.

The late retired Army 1st Sgt. Harold Eatman as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division’s 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Eatman made four combat jumps with the 505th PIR into Sicily, Salerno, Normand and Holland during World War II and was laid to rest July 11 after a service at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Paratroopers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team follow in the footsteps of legends like 1st Sgt. Eatman,” said Col. Arthur Sellers, Commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, the parent unit of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 505th PIR. “Men and women of the Panther Brigade proudly carry on his legacy by remaining ready to answer our nation’s call to jump, fight and win on any drop zone in the world.”

In 2015, Eatman and six other WWII veterans received the French Legion of Honor, the highest decoration bestowed in France. He was also the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

A family member of retired 1st Sgt. Harold Eatman, left, places a flower on his casket at Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte, North Carolina on July 11 as 1st Sgt. James Miller, right, of Company, B, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment looks on. Eatman was a member of the 505th PIR during World War II, making combat jumps into Sicily, Salerno, Normandy and Holland. Eatman passed away earlier in July at the age of 102.

“Greater love has no man, that he would lay down his life and he [Eatman] was willing to do it,” said Roux, quoting a passage from the Bible. “Our country recognizes him as a hero and I suspect heaven recognizes him as a hero, too, because he lived those words of sacred scripture.”

P6 Sends – 75th Anniversary of our First Star of Valor

Panther Paratroopers, Family and Friends

Today, we honor the 75th Anniversary of the 505th PIR and 307th AEB’s first Star of Valor – Operation Husky. On 9 July 1943, at 1930 hours, the first of 226 planes carrying the paratroopers departed their airfields in Tunisa enroute to Sicily. There, they would conduct the first regimental-sized combat parachute jump in U.S. Army History.

Due to many factors, most of the paratroopers missed their assigned drop zones and the regiment was widely scattered. Throughout the night and well into July 10th, 505th PIR and 307th AEB paratroopers wreaked havoc on their enemies while fighting towards “Objective Y;” a series of 16 concrete pillboxes. Of the 3407 paratroopers of the 505th PIR who jumped, 424 were wounded or killed by the end of Operation Husky.

On the ground, the paratroopers fought with tenacity and aggressiveness. Their training in small unit tactics, eagerness to close with the enemy and universal understanding of the mission resulted in success.

Of Operation Husky, Gen. Gavin wrote “Here, in Sicily, he [Paratroopers] proved the hard way that vertical envelopment at night was feasible and almost impossible to stop, that the American trooper has the mental and physical courage to try anything, asking and expecting no odds.”

Take time today to learn more about Operation Husky. The heritage of the American Paratrooper, one you are building today, rests on the foundation laid by these brave Troopers.

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