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Pvt. Whitney Garcia and Pfc. Ajah Kuykendall proudly show the art project they and Pvt. Kiowa Berry recently completed in front the Whiskey Company entrance. According to their Company Commander Capt. Adam Stear, it greatly contributed to their recent Honor Company win for the 1st Quarters of FY14. (Contributed Photo)

FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 14, 2013) -- “I thought I was just painting a sidewalk,” said Pvt. Whitney Garcia, an advanced individual training student assigned to Whiskey Company, 244th Quartermaster Battalion.

“But it became way more than that after we started,” she added. “It was a chance to let our motivation shine and make others proud of us. We were able to leave a mark that many will see for a long time to come.”

That art project – completed by Garcia and co-painters, Pfc. Ajah Kuykendall and Pvt. Kiowa Berry – and several other factors gave Whiskey Company the win in its bid for the battalion’s “Honor Company” title in the first quarter of FY14.

“I’m extremely proud and privileged to be leading such a motivated group of warriors, Soldiers and leaders,” said Capt. Adam Stear, the unit commander. “Any success from Whiskey Company is because of them. They prove their character daily through who they are and what they do.”

The honor company competition recognizes the units in the battalion that “exude the highest proficiency in daily company operations as well as the highest level of motivation and esprit de corps.”

According to Stear, multiple areas within Whiskey Co. were evaluated by the battalion to include overall Soldier knowledge, appearance of the company areas, and the overall command climate during daily operations and group events like the Nov. 1 battalion run that preceded the latest honor company announcement.

“I believe the new painting of our company logo on the front sidewalk reflects the esprit de corps or our company and is really the thing that clinched the title for us,” said Stear. “That’s why I’m giving our young warriors most of the credit.”

It’s a well-deserved nod, judging by the comments from the student painters.

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential ... those are the things that will get you to success,” Berry observed. “Painting this sidewalk allowed me to leave my mark on Fort Lee before I went home. With hard work comes success. This is a reflection of that spirit."