Fort Sam soldiers celebrate Army's 237th birthday

Soldiers start day with a 2.5 mile run

SAN ANTONIO – Old Glory may get most of the glory on June 14, but Flag Day actually shares the date with another important patriotic event: the birthday of the United States Army.

This year is the 237th anniversary of its creation.

IMAGES: Army birthday celebration

San Antonio soldiers observed the day with a celebration Thursday morning that began with a 2.5 mile run from Ft. Sam Houston to the Alamo.

Once they arrived at the historic site, several hundred members of the Army took part in flag-raising ceremony, then indulged in a 237-foot-long frosted cake.

"The whole camaraderie and the team effort of just coming down here and what it represents, you know, it's just true patriotism," said Lt. Col. Shannon Miller, who, as a woman, said she would not have had the same opportunities that she enjoys now when the Army was first created.

"I'm just very proud to be part of this organization," she said.

Pride ran deep among many people attending the ceremony, including Francisco Perez, who first donned the green uniform nearly 70 years ago. The 86-year-old spent 11 years in the military, including several on the battlefield during World War II.

"There's nothing like the best in the world, the United States, " Perez said.

When asked to appraise today's soldiers, he said, "Great. They're doing their share."

IMAGES: Army birthday celebration

Perez was given the honors, along with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Ft. Sam's senior commander, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, of cutting the celebratory cake.

More than 1,500 soldiers and civilians attended the celebration.