Deactivating JBER unit gathers for a final farewell

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by Whitney LB Miller

ANCHORAGE - There is nothing like a good old fashion Bar-B-Que on a nice day. 
The men and women of the second Engineer brigade got to come together for a little competition and a bitter sweet farewell.

This brigade is winding down their operations and preparing to inactivate in the fall. Friday was the last time the group will get to come together as one to celebrate.

When we ran into private first class Octavian Wall he was wrapping up an 8 mile relay race. One of many spirited competitions - troops of the second engineer brigade competed in, not only for bragging rights but for the brigade's organizational days.

"Org day is basically for everybody to interact kind of get together show appreciation to others and kind of just be competitive and have fun," said wall.

After the running of the races other soldiers were competing in a org day basketball bracket, running up and down the court for there shot at the coveted commanders title.

All this activity drums up a huge appetite that is no match for the brigades dining staff.

"This is really our last chance to get our whole brigade together before people start heading off to Afghanistan this summer and also as we deactivate units later this fall," said battalion commander Lt. Col. Brian Formy-Duval.

A bitter sweet realization for the troops and their loved ones. Friday they remember why coming together is so important.

"its good to have comradery its good to work that out through our folks and its good to bring our families out here and let them enjoy this  last little bit of our time together," said Formy-Duval.

The two day event culminated in an awards ceremony - all in all though the real reward sharing those last precious moments.