Fairbanks Veterans Center celebrates Army’s 247th birthday

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 11:52 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - June 14, is a day to not only remember the induction of the American Flag; it is a day to celebrate the nation’s oldest branch of the United States military, the United States Army.

The history of the U.S. Army dates back over two centuries. Founded on June 14, 1775, the Continental Army was established as tensions grew between the residents of the 13 Northern Colonies and the colonial government during the American Revolutionary War.

The Continental Army lasted until the end of the Revolutionary War, and the name was replaced with a more familiar name, the U.S. Army.

In Fairbanks, locals at the Fairbanks Veterans Center celebrated with a large cake with “June 14, 1775″ written on the top.

Brad Bunnell is the Outreach Coordinator with the organization. He says the army’s birthday is celebrated because it is tradition. “So today we are celebrating the army,” said Bunnell. ”We are having the cake out front, we are having some food, some beverages. Right about now the lobby is full probably, we are going to have a lot of laughter and stories.”

Even though they are celebrating one branch of the armed forces today, the Fairbanks Veterans Center caters to all branches of the military. From veterans to active duty military and their spouses.

“So it is a two-pillar type of activity here. We primarily give them or supply behavioral health counseling, active duty, and for the veterans, said Bunnell. “We also do activities to keep them enrolled into the community, and plus it is where all the veterans hang out anyway.”

He says right now we are in “a crisis” dealing with military suicide. He wants to let people know the Fairbanks Veterans Center is there for those who just want to swing by and talk or not talk. Just be present. “We can always talk to you, we have behavioral health counselors,” Bunnell explained. “That is our focus, support the active duty and the veteran community. Make sure that everyone is alive, and well, and vibrant, and to have fun.”

Bunnell says there is a stigma out there for soldiers in any branch. He says for those dealing with certain issues, it can be hard to talk about those feelings with leadership. He says that is why the Veterans Center is able to better help with those needs.

“We cherish the veterans, we cherish the active duty, we try to develop a relationship that hopefully develops into access to care, so we can get them enrolled in the VA system,” said Bunnell.

He also mentioned there are roughly 220 Veteran Centers located from Guam to Maine. All of them on this day, are united celebrating the U.S Army’s birthday.

“We were the first ones to fight, sorry Marie Corp,” Bunnell said with a smile. “It’s a lot of fun, we all get together and especially in Fairbanks because we are a blended community to have fun.”

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