Generations collided today in a quiet atmosphere on the foothills of the Franklin Mountains.
Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division stopped into the Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home for some lunch with veterans of our nation's previous conflicts along with some spouses of those more refined heroes from our great country.
The driving force behind the link with the Highlander Brigade and the residents of the veteran's home has been Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Petty, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the Highlanders legal affairs section. Petty wanted to take an hour out of his day to relax and spend time with the people that helped create the footsteps in which he follows.
Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Pandy, senior enlisted member of the Highlander Brigade, echoed Petty's sentiments, when he was talking with a few of the Veterans he was sure to explain to them how the modern Soldier truly feels.
"You say thank you to us, but really it is us who should be thanking you," said Pandy. "You all set the standard in which we model ourselves and the way we train our Soldiers, without what you have done, we would not be able to do what we are now."
Petty feels just as strong a bond as Pandy does.
"We get up every day and try to live our lives and conduct ourselves in the manner in which they did," said Petty. "Yes, we are in a time of conflict, but they had their fair share of conflict, and on multiple fronts, I can't imagine how difficult it could have been to be a Soldier during that time in our nation's history."
Josie Ramirez, the activities coordinator for the Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home enjoys the relationship between the past and present Soldiers.
"It's awesome to have you guys come out here and spend time with us," said Ramirez. "It really brightens their spirits and puts smiles on everyone's faces, just getting the opportunity to share stories and experiences with current Soldiers."
Col. Scott McKean, commander of the Highlander Brigade felt so strongly about the visit and the members of the home, that he wanted to give them a special gift and reaffirm a commitment between the home and the Highlander Brigade.
"I want to give you all a flag that flew over this unit's headquarters while it was in Iraq, a very special item for a very special group," said McKean. "I look forward to continuing and strengthening the relationship that we have with each and every one of you."