FORT HOOD, Texas - Maj. Gen. John Richardson IV and Command Sgt. Maj. Shade Munday, 1st Cavalry Division command team, officially dedicated Battalion Avenue as Legends Way during a ceremony in front of 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters here, Sept. 20, in honor of the 100th birthday of the division.
“It was named Battalion because of all the battalion headquarters, both in the division and other units on post,” Richardson explained. “Not a very descriptive name and it doesn’t have a lot of historical meaning behind it, so the division took the initiative to use this opportunity to leverage the 100th birthday to memorialize the legends of this division.”
Signs denoting the names and heroic acts from the First Team’s 43 Medal of Honor recipients, along with five Medal of Honor recipients from the 9th Cav. Regiment, are spaced every .2 miles, from TJ Mills Boulevard to Clear Creek Road, the stretch of road where a majority of First Team units are located. Legends Way from TJ Mills to Martin Drive is reserved for the remaining Fort Hood units to honor their own heroes.
“At the 1st Cavalry Division, we have a great history, but so do the other units here on post, so let’s honor the legends – those individuals who paved the way for what we have today,” Lt. Col. Jim Rye, the division’s civil affairs officer and one of the Soldiers who came up with the idea for the name change, explained. “Legends Way is a tribute to the past, but is also for our present Soldiers to understand they are part of a great organization.”
The street renaming process took approximately a year, with Richardson noting the full support they received from the III Corps and Garrison commanders, as well as the Directorate of Public Works, which worked hard on Sept. 11 to ensure the street signs said Legends Way during the First Team’s birthday Sept. 13, which kicked off with a cake cutting ceremony.
Richardson said the division is continuing the centennial celebration in conjunction with the 1st Cavalry Division Association’s annual reunion. CAV Week kicked off Monday with a division run, followed by sports competitions throughout the week. The weeklong celebration will culminate with a parade, reception and interactive displays on Cooper Field, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday.
“Horses, helicopters, sabers, songs, Stetsons and spurs,” Richardson said. “This week is very much about the veterans too.”
Rye added that the veterans coming to Central Texas for the 1st Cavalry Division Association’s annual reunion will remember some the Medal of Honor recipients honored along Legends Way that they served with in the past.
“Forty-three Medal of Honor (recipients) in this division (plus five from 9th Cav. Regt.) – their picture and their story. What they did and how they lived the legend. The purpose behind this is to inspire our Soldiers,” Richardson explained. “They lived for something bigger than themselves. They lived for their comrades, for their regiments, for this division and for this country, and some of them made the ultimate sacrifice. They are legends and they now live on Legends Way, here at Fort Hood.”