By Capt. Grace GeigerMay 28, 2016
FORT HOOD, Texas - "That's the last thing I am going to take down from my office," said retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Harvey Reed, as he pointed to a small plaque on the wall of an otherwise stark office. "I received that award for saving the lives of three Vietnamese radio operators when the bunker they were working in caught fire."
The inscription on the plaque revealed the Soldier's Medal was awarded to Reed in May 1970 for heroic actions in Vietnam. This small plaque is a powerful reminder of the significant contributions he has made to both the Army and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. As he quietly packed up his office in the unit headquarters building, his love for the regiment made it difficult to leave, said Reed.
A farewell for Reed was held May 18 during the Brave Rifles Week Garden Party here. He served as the executive director, a volunteer position, of the 3rd Cavalry Association for over four years. He was selected for the position because of his passion for the unit, said Reed. Prior to becoming executive director, he was a member of the board of directors for the association. Reed is also the honorary sergeant major of the 3rd Cav. Regt.
"I was invited to a board meeting where the new executive director of the association was going to be announced," said Reed. "I had no idea when they announced my name that I was going to be the director. You cannot say no to that!"
As the executive director, some of Reed's most fond memories came from caring for the regiment's Soldiers and their Families. He founded a scholarship program for the regiment that awards $1,000 to four high school seniors per year. Reed also began a program to help Soldiers in need by providing food baskets during the holidays.
However, the most rewarding part of his job has been watching Soldiers who were wounded in action recover, said Reed. He would make the drive down to San Antonio when wounded Soldiers from the regiment arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center. Reed consistently worked to ensure the Soldiers and their Families had everything they needed. He still continues to keep in contact with those Soldiers and their Families.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Reed is truly the embodiment of selfless-service," said Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan Barker, the regiment's command sergeant major. "He leaves behind a legacy of giving and caring that all of us should strive to emulate. He will be sorely missed."
Before he became the executive director, Reed spent 26 years in the Army on active duty. During his career, he found himself assigned to the 3rd Cav. Regt. a number of times in various positions. His final assignment, before retiring in 1985, was the 7th command sergeant major of the regiment.
"I joined the Army in 1959 out of Pennsylvania," said Reed pensively. "I was just so tired of being a farm boy. I was 16 years old when I joined. I signed my parents' names on the [enlistment] papers."
Reed promised even though he is no longer the director, he will still have a presence within the regiment and will continue to help Soldiers.
Soldiers will be able to find me, said Reed.
After a shoulder surgery in March, doctors told Reed he needed to take some time off. He was supposed to go straight home after the surgery. However, on the way home, he asked his wife if he could stop by Fort Hood.
"My wife told me I needed to go home and rest," said Reed. "I told my wife the 3rd Cavalry Regiment is my home."