Soldiers celebrate Army’s birthday with 'All American' feast in Kabul
By CHAD GARLAND | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 14, 2018
KABUL, Afghanistan — The dining facility at NATO’s Resolute Support helped celebrate the Army’s 243rd birthday Thursday by dishing up an “all-American lunch” of prime rib, crab legs, baked potatoes, shrimp scampi and a massive sheet cake.
Deployed soldiers of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard’s 191st Regional Support Group Forward cut the first slice during a traditional cake-cutting ceremony.
Per tradition, the unit’s youngest and oldest soldiers — Cpl. Ruby Cruz Quinones, 24, and Lt. Col. Norberto Torres, 55 – helped cut the cake with a saber. Col. Ruben Bermudez, the unit’s top officer and enlisted soldier, and Command Sgt. Maj. Andres Ruiz also helped wield the sword used to dice up the dessert. After Lt. Col. Dwayne Keener, the chaplain, gave an invocation, the soldiers sang "The Army Goes Rolling Along."
The cake-cutting tradition is a reminder of the generations of soldiers who have served to make America stronger, Bermu-dez said, noting that the Army was founded in 1775, more than a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed.
As the Forward Support Battalion, the Fort Allen, Puerto Rico-based unit helps run the dining facility, water purification, base security and morale programs at the Kabul headquarters. Bermudez said some of the 35 members of the Puerto Rico-based unit deployed here despite having lost everything in Hurricane Maria last fall.