Retired Veterans spend day with current 'Cottonbaler' Soldiers
By Spc. Emily Knitter, 1HBCT Public AffairsNovember 10, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Although Veteran's Day is still a few days away, the Third Infantry Division hosted a special group of military heroes at Fort Stewart, Nov. 2. Over 50 members of the Sun City Veterans Association spent the day touring the post and visiting with Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team. The members of SCVA have all served in a military branch in the past, and now spend their time helping the present day military community in any way they can; from sending phone cards to deployed troops to donating money so Family Members can visit their wounded warriors in the hospital.
The largest and most active veterans' organization in the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield community, these veterans do everything they can to assist Soldiers, and this visit gave SCVA an opportunity to interact directly with the people they support the most.
"To me the best part [of this visit] is meeting the Soldiers," explained Larry Bonner, a prior Army reservist and president of the SCVA. "Getting to talk to them is very meaningful to us. I tell everyone, 'You really can't respect these people unless you talk with them and meet them. Their dedication to their country and service is just tremendous.'"
During the visit, the members got a chance to see the standard weapons and vehicles used in modern-day combat, travel to a live range to watch a convoy firing demonstration, eat lunch with "Cottonbaler" Soldiers from 2/7 Inf., and tour both the Fort Stewart Museum and Warriors Walk.
"When we go back, during our monthly meeting, we are going to tell this story," said Bob Devalentino, a Vietnam veteran and member of the association. "Even though we had been here before about four years ago, it was nothing like it is today, and we are going to have an unbelievable story to tell."