Cav hosts 66th annual reunion
June 12, 2013
FORT HOOD, Texas - Stetsons, old and new, covered the bleachers of the 1st Cavalry Division's Cooper Field as the sounds of veterans telling war stories cut through the crowd -- smiles welcomed missed friends and tears remembered those who have passed.
Kicking off the reunion was a golf tournament at the Courses at Clear Creek here. The tournament started cavalry-style with the firing of a canon.
The First Team hosted many activities for the Association. Buses came and went from the division museum where on display were current and past weaponry and vehicles. Attendees talked to current Cavalry Troopers and asked questions about equipment such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, the M109A6 Paladin and an M1A2 Abrams Tank.
Festivities continued as former troopers visited the Horse Cavalry Detachment Stables, where today's soldiers put on a horse-led demonstration. The Horse Det. Soldiers also gave tours of the Ferrier Shop, Leather Shop and a short visit with the horses.
The Association held War-era, regiment and unit luncheons for the attendees throughout the week, such as the Korean War, former soldiers with the 5th Cavalry Regiment and Artillery soldiers. This gave the former troopers time to catch up and reacquaint.
First Team Troops provided additional support June 7 at the "Spirit of the Cav" tableau; a French word depicting a scene or reenactment.
Reveille and lowering the flag started "Spirit of the Cav" and a traditional Cavalry Charge was also demonstrated.
The tableau depicted soldiers from each era of the 1st Cavalry Division since 1921. Some period-dressed soldiers walked across Cooper Field with their steed and others with just the rifle and personal equipment from that war or era.
Vehicles and weapons representing the different wars were displayed behind the soldiers. Some of World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, the Gulf and today's vehicles sat on Cooper Field and Battalion Avenue for all to see.
The 1st Cavalry Division Band was also in attendance playing era specific music for each Trooper walking onto the field.
Following the ceremony, reunion guests and their families walked the field to talk to current troopers and exchange war stories.
The whole reunion went beyond his expectations and his favorite part was the Spirit of the Cav, said Joe Scholl, a 1st Cav. Div. Association member and reunion attendee. Scholl was formerly a generator mechanic in 1967 and 1968 with Headquarters Company, 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.
The subsequent evening, the division commanding general talked to all attendees during a banquet held in their honor.
"Thank you for building a proud legacy for those of us who serve in the division today enjoy and aspire to live up to," said Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, 1st Cav. Div. commanding general. "Thank you for your continued commitment to this division because the reality is this: Even if you take off the cavalry yellow and black patch, we all cherish and love, even if you no longer wear the Army uniform, the reality is - once you join America's First Team you never really leave its ranks."
Closing out the reunion June 9 was a memorial service at the 1st Cav. Memorial Chapel for the former Troopers to pay respects to their fallen comrades.
The 1st Cavalry Division Association began July 17, 1944, by a group of First Team soldiers participating in the New Guinea Campaign of World War II and was in the Admiralty Islands.
According to the association's website, the establishment of the 1st Cavalry Division Association is for soldiers and veterans to preserve old friendships and conduct periodic reunions.
For more information about the 1st Cavalry Division Association visit their website at www.1cda.org.