PaintballX3 Magazine 2012 Oklahoma D-Day Special Edition - Page 84

It’s been a month since I once again attended the “World’s Largest Paintball Event” in Wyandotte Oklahoma. This makes my 8th year in a row. Attending D-Day has become an annual pilgrimage for many paintballers and this one is no exception. As CO of the 101st Airborne Division it has always been my job to make sure that the players who sign up for this unit have a great vacation. 2012 was a little different than the last few years for several reasons and I will touch on a few of them here. A Different Feel D-Day this year had a different feel. It’s hard to describe it, but it had a light-hearted, happy feel to it from the moment I got out of the car and let the hot Oklahoma sun hit my face. Players were smiling, happy to be there and in general having a good time. The weather was going to be fantastic as there were no reports of bad weather on the way like in years past. There were going to be fewer distractions for the leaders. We were all here to play paintball and to see old friends and make some new ones. It was going to be a great year. New Allied CO The Allied commander changed once again and Juan “Beatle” Parke was getting the top pay this year. (I still don’t know what the pay is). He brought with him a relaxed command style that we had not had in a few years since the heady days of Jim “Hangrenade” Helton and Ken “Psycho” Moore. There was a different feeling in the air and as a result of all the fun, a new word has been submitted to the urban dictionary, the “Beatle Position.” There were fewer meetings and planning sessions for the commanders to attend and this allowed us, as leaders, to spend more time with our players along with the players of other units on both sides. It was great for me to be able to hang out with so many players from all over the world. Changing of the guard in the 101st For many years Eddie Ford (11 year D-Day Veteran, player, leader, and just over all nice guy), had risen through the ranks of the 101st to that of Brigadier General and XO. When I arrived at D-Day this year he informed me that this would be his last D-Day as my XO because he wished to try new things. During his years at D-Day he has only played with the 101st. He was there when I played my first game in 2004, and I always could count on the 6’ 5” player to be standing tall in the battle lines as we trained and played