CENTERVILLE, Texas-The 41st Fires Brigade and the Leon County Veterans Service Office hosted a Veteran's Appreciation Day to honor veterans of all wars at the Champion Ranch, here, May 1.

The celebration consisted of a mounted horse demonstration by the 1st Cavalry Division's Horse Cavalry Detachment, along with food, booths, door prizes, and raffles.
The horse detachment wowed the audience with a mounted weapons demonstration and showed off their skills with traditional cavalry weapons used in the 1800s. They also displayed how the cavalry would ride when on patrol and how they used teamwork in battle.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Hayes, of Vincennes, Ind., a member of the mounted cavalry detachment, believes veterans are very important and it is an honor to support them.
"Veterans made the United States the way it is today," said Hayes. "They are the ones that allow us to do a job like this."

Along with the mounted display there were organizations with booths to inform veterans of their group and to raise money for their cause.

Allan Ayo, of Oakwood, Texas and president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 991, explained the importance of supporting veterans and informing them of their rights.

"We came out here to honor the vets as they all need to be honored," said Ayo. "What we get for donations go to our scholarship and veteran health funds."

The event wouldn't have been as successful or beautiful if it wasn't for the kindness of Richard Wallrath, owner of the 6,000 acre Champion Ranch, in Centerville, Texas, who donated the use of his ranch for the event.

"It is an honor to have you all here," said Wallrath. "I admire the military and try to do all I can for them."

Col. John Thomson, the 41st Fires Bde. commander and native of Tyler, Texas, supports veterans and agrees that they deserve recognition and praise for all they have done and continue to do.

"Veterans are the reason why we can have a Sunday afternoon and barbeque, the reason why we have baseball games and do not have to worry about our kids going to school," said Thomson.

"We are in the presence of true greatness. These are all individuals that have made American history. That is what is so special about today."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16