TXSG Flies High With Austin Kite Festival
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2012/03/05
Provides support for 30,000 people attending annual event

AUSTIN, Texas -- As kite-lovers descended on Zilker Park, they were first greeted by soldiers from the Texas State Guard’s Army Component.

“We’re proud to support this historic community event,” said Warrant Officer Darrell Prather, who oversaw the TXSG on-site participation. “Our soldiers were honored to help people enjoy the festival and be part of this great tradition.”

Established in the late 1920s, Austin’s kite festival is the oldest in the nation with 30,000 attendees participating in the annual event. The festival is organized by the Austin Exchange Club. TXSG soldiers assisting in the event are from the 2nd Regiment, part of the TXSG’s Army Component based in central Texas.

“We were struggling to put the logistics together this year. When the state guard heard about our situation, they stepped forward to help,” said festival organizer Dorcy Twidwell. “We’ve been incredibly glad they did. We really appreciate these men and women giving up their weekend to help everyone here be safe and have fun.”

The TXSG provided logistical support for the event. Most visibly, soldiers are assisting attendees with event parking and on-site transportation, while also providing organizers and other participating entities with communications support.

Prather said assisting the festival organizers and participants gives TXSG soldiers real-world training for the kind of logistical support the organization provides during natural disasters and other emergencies.

“This gives us the opportunity to put our training and expertise into practical use in advance of our response to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or fires anywhere in Texas when ordered by the governor,” he said. “But most importantly, it’s another way for the men and women of the Texas State Guard to serve our fellow Texans.”