Fort Drum's Salute to Nation
Hugh Douglas Barclay, right, former N.Y. state senator; Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh; Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, commander of 10th Mountain Division (Light) and Fort Drum; and 10th Mountain Division Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher K. Greca render honors at Fort Drum’s Salute to the Nation ceremony during the post’s annual Mountainfest celebration July 1.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (July 9, 2010) -- Fort Drum celebrated 25 years as home to the 10th Mountain Division during the post's annual Mountainfest open house July 1.

Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum commander, welcomed home Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team who are currently returning from Iraq.

He said the division had more than 20 brigade-size combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. During the same time, the division headquarters had four combat rotations and is preparing to deploy back to Afghanistan for a fifth, Terry said.

As the general spoke about those currently serving, he also mentioned those who gave all while serving their country. "Yesterday, we added 38 of our heroes from 2009 in our annual remembrance ceremony," Terry said. "This brings our fallen Soldier count from Somalia through today to 238 Soldiers. Never let them or their families who have sacrificed so much for our great nation be forgotten."

The installation rededicated its Pine Plains gym to Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti, the most recent Medal of Honor recipient from the 10th Mountain Division.

More than 50 World War II veterans of the division attended the ceremony. Terry said the veterans' contributions brought honor to the proud legacy of the 10th Mountain Division.

"This year marks the 25th anniversary of the reactivation of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum," Terry said. "Our 'Climb to Glory' motto links our proud legacy from World War II to our current Soldiers who serve so proudly at Fort Drum. In our recent 25 years here, the Soldiers of this great division have a history of serving our nation's call in places like Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and a lot of other places in between."

"It's been reported that in June our nation's involvement in Afghanistan marks the eclipse of our involvement in Vietnam," he continued. "That makes Afghanistan our nation's longest war. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the 10th Mountain Division has been there..."

Secretary of the Army John McHugh spoke about the division's history since reactivating a quarter of a century ago and the reputation it has earned for accomplishing any mission it has undertaken.

"Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division have represented the proud tradition of selfless service and dedication to excellence that is the hallmark of our Army," McHugh said. "These Soldiers indeed have earned the right to have that proud motto as those who 'Climb to Glory.' They make the seemingly impossible, not just possible, but almost simple."

The Salute to the Nation ceremony was also attended by Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenback, outgoing U.S. Military Academy superintendent and former 10th Mountain Division commander; and Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander of U.S. Army Accessions Command and former division commander.

Before and after the ceremony, the installation's Family, Morale Welfare and Recreation division hosted a number of activities and concerts, capped by a fireworks display.

"This is the best day of my life," said 8-year-old Jamie Cyland, daughter of Paul and Sarai Cyland, of Black River, N.Y. "There is so much to do, and daddy said I could climb the big wall if I want to, but I may wait until next year for that."

There were also an AH-64 Apache, a UH-60 Black Hawk and a CH-47 Chinook on display for those interested in getting a closer look at some of the 10th Mountain Division's aerial assets.

"This is so cool," said 14-year-old Matthew Stiles, son of Johnny and Belinda Stiles of Carthage, N.Y. "I have never been this close to an Apache. They are much bigger in real life. And then, when they all took off at the same time, the ground shook.

"I wouldn't want to be the bad guys," he added.

Page last updated Fri July 16th, 2010 at 09:30