SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
Every year, people across the world celebrate their birthday with festivities and, of course, cake. So, what happens when a branch of the Armed Forces turns a year older? There’s also a celebration.
Several Soldiers and City of San Antonio officials gathered to partake in an Army Birthday cake cutting ceremony at City Hall June 1. This ceremony marked the first event for Soldiers at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston’s celebration of the Army’s 242nd Birthday.
“I’m honored to be here at City Hall to mark the celebration of the 242nd Army Birthday celebration,” said Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commander, U.S. Army North (Fifth Army), as he gave the opening remarks.
Buchanan spoke briefly of the partnership between the Army and the City of San Antonio, before the Army cake was presented to the audience. As a long-standing Army tradition and a crucial part of the ceremony, the cake was cut by the oldest and youngest Army representatives as well as Buchanan and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Orosz, the senior enlisted advisor for Army North.
The youngest Soldier was represented by Sgt. Catherine Trisch, a geospatial engineer with Army North with just over three years of service.
“It was a great experience; I couldn’t think of a better place to have the ceremony than at City Hall,” Trisch said. “To be able to celebrate with a city that supports the military so much, it is a huge deal and we were welcomed with opened arms.”
The oldest military person was represented by Ray Lopez, outgoing city councilman for District 6, who served in the Army from 1968 to 1984 and is currently 67 years old.
“It was heartwarming to see the Army pride and the community pride at such a high level,” said Lopez, who helped cut the Army birthday cake.
Lopez also reminisced about his fondest memory in the military, which was “sightseeing in Europe while stationed in Germany as a power pack and electrical specialist.”