By Wilson RiveraApril 29, 2008
El Paso Army Reservists commemorate century of service
By Wilson A. Rivera
Fort Bliss Monitor
April 29, 2008
EL PASO, Texas Aca,!" Members of Sergeants Major Course Class 58 at the U.S. Sergeants Major Academy commemorated the Army ReserveAca,!a,,cs 100th birthday April 23 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 812 in McKelligon Canyon.
Those in attendance at the celebration helped unfurl a Texas-size U.S. flag in honor of the occasion Aca,!" one so big it took about 20 of them to keep it off the ground until it could be hoisted by an El Paso Fire Department ladder truck.
Aca,!A"There has never been a better time to be an Army Reserve Soldier,Aca,!A? said Chief of the Army Reserve Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz. Aca,!A"At no period during our century of service to the nation have we undergone the monumental change that is currently underway. We're on a positive course to deliver even greater value and service to the Army, the nation, our communities and our families.Aca,!A?
The Army Reserve began with the creation of the Medical Reserve Corps April 23, 1908, in which 160 doctors provided medical knowledge and expertise to deal with times of national emergency. After a century of service, the Army Reserve has increased its numbers to 195,000 citizen-Soldiers trained in specific fields like health care, engineering, transportation, communication, law enforcement and specialized combat.
Aca,!A"We must remember the service and sacrifice of our fellow Soldiers who have given their lives for our freedoms. Aca,!A| The Army Reserve has served with excellence and honor in every major military and humanitarian engagement of the past 100 years, playing integral roles in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, the Iraq War and the Global War on Terrorism,Aca,!A? Stultz said. Aca,!A"Since 9/11, nearly 193,000 Army Reserve Soldiers have mobilized and deployed to support [the Global War on Terrorism] and homeland security Aca,!" almost 28,000 are mobilized today.Aca,!A?
The master of the ceremonies, Class 58 student Sgt. Maj. Randall Boss, talked about the actions of Silver Star recipient Pfc. Jeremy L. Church, an Army Reservist who was a convoy commanderAca,!a,,cs driver while serving in Iraq with the 724th Transportation Company from Bartonville, Ill. While en route to the Baghdad International Airport April 9, 2004, the convoy was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices and small-arms fire.
Church took evasive maneuvers to avoid IEDs, even after the convoy commander was shot twice in the head, and continued on until he found assistance from another unit. Church led the recovery mission back to the site of the attack to aid other Soldiers still in the kill zone. While exposing himself to enemy fire, Church treated other members of his unit and evacuated them. With no room in the Humvee for Church, he remained and continued the search for other members of his unit, treating all he came across.
Aca,!A"Not bad for a security guard at Wal-Mart and a Aca,!Eoeweekend warrior,Aca,!a,,cAca,!A? Boss said.
Pfc. Keith Aca,!A"MattAca,!A? Maupin was captured in the same attack. Promoted since then to staff sergeant while missing in action, MaupinAca,!a,,cs remains were finally found in Iraq this year and positively identified March 29 through DNA tests. Maupin was 20 years old at the time of capture.
Aca,!A"Every single one of these [deaths] is a tragedy, both for the individual and for their families, but this has been especially difficult for the Maupin family because of not knowing for almost exactly four years,Aca,!A? said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, in an Armed Forces Press Service news release.
Aca,!A"Whether they are engaged in battle, logistical and medical efforts, humanitarian relief or peacekeeping, todayAca,!a,,cs Army Reserve Soldiers are living up to the oath they swore allegiance to when they joined the U.S Army,Aca,!A? said Boss. Aca,!A"We have never been weekend warriors, as once thought of, and now more than ever, the nation and our active-duty counterparts are realizing the major contributions our citizen-Soldiers are making.Aca,!A?
Throughout the history of the nation, Reservists have always answered the call and have stood up for what is right to turn toward the community and return to their needs within, said Command Sgt. Maj. David W. Kiel, from the Fort Bliss Warrior Transition Battalion.
Kiel concluded by describing five great AmericansAca,!"
Aca,!A"First is our fallen comrade, who never made it back from the battlefield. Their sacrifices we shall never forget. Second, to our comrades who have come back injured or wounded both physically and mentally, whose lives have been changed forever. Third, our veterans of all services, both currently serving or have served in the past, who stood their ground during peacetime, Cold War, and during actual combat. Fourth are the citizen-Soldiers, which, from time-to-time, have had to put their American dreams on hold and answer the call of duty to their country both here at home and at far.
Aca,!A"And finally, the group of great Americans who stand behind us, who wear the uniform, who may not be able to do what we do but go out of their way on the street corner or an airport to come up to you and say, Aca,!EoeThank you Aca,!" for what you do.Aca,!a,,cAca,!A?