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82nd Airborne cancels annual celebration

The annual All American week celebration for the 82nd Airborne Division this year has been canceled, a division spokesman said. Reason: Too many paratroopers are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Too many paratroopers are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to hold the annual All American week celebration for the 82nd Airborne Division this year, a division spokesman said.

In normal years when the paratroopers are at Fort Bragg, most of the division of about 17,000 soldiers parade past the commanding general and scores of veterans in the annual celebration before Memorial Day.

This year, about 6,000 paratroopers, including the commanding general and his staff, as well as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, are in Afghanistan. Soldiers in the 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams are in Iraq.

Only the 1st Brigade Combat Team remains at Fort Bragg and it is scheduled to deploy to Iraq this summer.

“All American Week is an integral part of our relationship with paratroopers past and present and their families, and we look forward to celebrating our airborne heritage again in 2008,” division spokesman Maj. Tom Earnhardt said in Tuesday’s Fayetteville Observer.

The celebration was also called off in 2003 because too many soldiers were deployed.