The spirit of every member of the 83rd Ordnance Battalion is something that impressed the HEAVY Medal team the minute we first stepped foot on the post.
The majority of these service members, less than 30 men and women, are in Kure without their families. A posting to Akizuki is considered a hardship tour and few family members are allowed to be on hand during the typical 12 to 24-month deployment. So you could imagine the fun that was had when this festive group of Olympians rolled onto the Akizuki base.
“It’s been more than 6 months since we have had folks such as yourself visit us here at the base,” said David Ricks, Kure Lodging and Club Manager to the Akizuki/83rd Ordnance Battalion - U.S. Army. “Anytime we get to connect to folks from back home, especially athletes such as yourself, it boosts morale and lift spirits for weeks to come.”
Hosted in the Kure Harbor Club, Caroline Lalive, Kaylin Richardson, Sean Colgan and Nelson Carmichael were immediately enveloped by the group. Smiles, stories and tales spanned into dinner and only grew as the night went on and conversations drifted from table to table.
“The turn out was amazing,” grinned Kaylin Richardson. “The entire base showed up to meet us, sharing stories of life in Japan and made us feel right at home. It was a wonderful night and I hope the soldiers had as much fun as we did.”
Those tasked with guarding and managing nearly a billion dollars of heavy medal ordnance in the Pacific region were in awe with these special athletes and their own brand of heavy ordnance--1992 Olympic bronze medal, Congressional Gold Medal, National Championship belt buckle and four Olympic rings.
As new friends were made with each handshake, the event went by way too fast for team HEAVY Medal III. “Knowing they are so away from family and friends, we wanted to make sure we personally thanked each and every soldier for their service and the job they are doing in Japan,” piped Carmichael.
Armed Forces Entertainment HEAVY Medal III’s time in Kure was all about honoring America’s heroes and bringing a bit of America to their small base. To all the men and women of the 83rd Ordnance Battalion—thank you so much for what you do, the professional way you do it and how you represent us all. You make us all proud!