FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The Fort Sam Houston Equestrian Center grounds looked like a scene from the Old West pioneer days with chuck wagons cookin' up vittles, horses stirring up dust and kids practicing their ropin' skills during the Cowboys for Heroes event April 2.

More than 1,500 people attended the 6th annual event, which featured a variety of foods cooked from scratch over campfires. Chuck wagons lined the field serving a variety of beef stews, kabobs, chicken, beans, peach cobbler and homemade ice cream.

"When you look around, what you are seeing is a wonderful demonstration of American values," said Col. Mary Garr, 502nd Mission Support Group commander. "That is what our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard are out there defending for us every single day.

"When you think of American history and heritage you think of pioneer spirit. You think of the ranching way of life, you think of the cowboys," Garr added.

"All of you today have helped bring that together as a reminder of connecting our American heritage and history to what we are today and the values that we want to take into our future," the colonel said.

"Our Soldiers are the driving force behind this," said Mitch Morgan, who came all the way from Missouri to participate in the event.

"I have two sons who are Soldiers and I'm a Vietnam vet. I would do anything for a Soldier," Morgan said. "I just feel so good to be able to serve them, as they serve for us."

Garr thanked all the volunteer chuck wagon teams, the companies that donated the food and other items, the Fort Sam Houston chaplains and Family and MWR, for their help and support.

"I know a lot of hard work goes into putting this event together," the colonel said. "I have a lot of favorite events at Fort Sam, but this one is really my favorite, because this embodies the spirit of what we are as Americans."

"We just feel this is a way we can pay a little bit back to our military families," said chuck wagon cook Steve Hull, who also made the trip from Missouri.

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