By Sgt. David Cox, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public AffairsApril 18, 2013
Story by Sgt. David Cox, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky -- The 4th Brigade Combat Team "Currahee", 101st Airborne Division inducted 20 individuals as Distinguished or Honorary Members into the 506th Infantry Regiment during a ceremony, April 11, 2013 at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The Currahees held the ceremony to honor members of the regiment who have distinguished themselves in service amongst their peers and to recognize Volunteers or non-combat arms service members who have helped the regiment in a significant way.
"Your service as a Currahee makes you a distinguished American Soldier, but it is your service and accomplishments, above and beyond, that makes you distinguished members of this regiment," said Col. Val C. Keaveny, Jr. , commander of 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div. "Loyalty binds us as Currahees. We serve for freedom, for our values, and for the Currahee Nation. We serve each other and our fellow man."
The primary mission of these special appointments--special appointees--is to perpetuate the history and traditions of the 506th Infantry Regiment enhancing unit morale, esprit de corps and continuity between 506th Veterans, past and present, said retired U.S. Army Col. Bob Sietz, a former commander of the 506th Infantry Regiment, now honorary regimental colonel.
When asked what it meant, personally, to receive this honor, inductees expressed heartfelt happiness for the recognition.
"It was very moving to be honored as a DMOR 43 years after I served with the Currahee's" said Charles Lieb, a United States Military Academy at West Point graduate (class of 1968), who was inducted for his meritorious service in Vietnam. "The opportunity to meet and interact with the fine troops of the 4th BCT was especially gratifying. The Army is truly fortunate to have such dedicated and well trained Soldiers."
Among the four persons being inducted as HMORs was Robin Sink, the daughter of the 506th Infantry Regiment's first commander, Col. Robert F. Sink.
In 2000, she resurrected the FIVE-O-SINK, a newsletter for the members of the 506th Infantry Regiment.
"The FIVE-O-SINK newsletter was started as a way to keep men in touch and to get them to reunions," said Sink. "They needed to talk. By helping to continue that tradition, I have gotten to know men who served with my father, heard their stories, and in doing so, have come to know him as a young officer during a very important period of the Army's history."
"I believe he set a standard for young men in the 1940s that resonates today: discipline, physical endurance, rising to the challenge, and celebrating success. These ideals prod us on under any circumstance. Men in their nineties credit the training at Camp Toccoa for keeping them alive this long. That is a fabulous tribute."
Sink has since retired the newsletter, publishing the final edition this spring.
"It feels wonderful," shared Sink. "I am grateful that the FIVE-O-SINK newsletter has made an impact on more than the WWII men for whom it was published. It is good to know that others--Vietnam Vets and active duty Currahees--see the value of keeping 70 years of stories and memories alive. I feel very honored to have this work recognized as both valuable and lasting. It is a remarkable privilege to participate in living history."
Inductees specifically expressed a sense of satisfaction in receiving this honor in the presence of current Currahees prior to their deployment.
"I feel that it is very important for today's Soldiers to hear about the successes and failures of former generations and to establish the bond that we were and currently are dedicated to protecting our country," said Lieb.
"The history of the 506th Infantry Regiment from World War II, through the Vietnam War, and including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is something that we should all be proud of. It provides a strong bond and motivation to keep accomplishing the assigned missions and make your fellow Currahees proud. The timing of the ceremony just before the next deployment should provide today's troops with a feeling of pride and the knowledge that their former Currahee members have their back and care about them. This is a great tradition that I hope is continued."