In colorful Colorado there is a red rock on 17-hundred acres of Fort Carson training area with over sixty names from the past etched in its sandstone.
A two-mile trail leads to "Cav Rock" where a tradition among the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard is to ride their horse one more time and close a chapter on their career.
Sgt. Brian Vogt, farrier with the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard, used a pocket knife to chisel his name into the rock symbolizing the completion of his color guard duty. When asked to say a few words, Vogt simply shook his head and hid his tears, hugging a fellow rider before climbing on a friend he thought he would never have.
"When I brought him back I told him that was the last time, bud," Vogt said to Trigger, his horse of two years. "Hopefully I'll see you again."
The ride back was one of reflection on moments he will look back on for years to come.
"I knew when my time came, it'd be a little rough," said Vogt. "When you're the one doing it-you kind of don't want to do it, because that's kind of telling you this is it; this is your last time."
Vogt is moving on to his next duty station in Massachusetts where he has already researched opportunities to stay in the saddle. He doesn't want to lose something that means so much to him; he finally found what he is meant to do, which Fort Carson Soldiers have done since 1965.
"To know I signed my name amongst the ones who started it," said Vogt reminiscing on the tradition that was started amongst the Army's first cavalry team. "It was definitely an honor to know that you put your name up there," said Vogt.
An Infantry Soldier who grew up in a suburban area outside of Chicago, Vogt credits the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard for instilling a love of horses in a city boy. Vogt says he will remember the little things.
"Just to see that scenery," said Vogt reflecting on his daily morning commute. Traveling and representing the Army and Fort Carson with the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard, Vogt said, "That's the stuff."
Although he is leaving, Vogt etched his name in "Cav Rock" while the Mounted Color Guard left their mark on his heart.
"It was bittersweet," said Vogt "the memories that this team has given me is kind of etched into that rock now."