Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day

Greetings Fellow Troopers

Unfortunately for many of our citizens Memorial Day is a day off and a barbecue. The real meaning and purpose is lost to them. This past weekend I know that you will have taken a moment to remember our fallen comrades and their ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and way of life. 85 of our fellow troopers during the period April 1965 to September 1970 made this sacrifice for us their fellow soldiers and for our nation. We owe it to them to honor them in our thoughts and actions. My thoughts were on 3 fine young men who did not return: Sgt Thomas Robertson, 2nd platoon; Lt. Charles Ayres, 3rd platoon; and Sgt. James Feeney, 1st platoon. Their action and service is a credit to our nation. They should not be forgotten. All of our 85 troopers who did not return home are listed on our memorial brick page at url: http://home.comcast.net/~ATrp3-4Cav/brickproject.html

One way to remember them is to purchase a memorial brick for the 25th Infantry Division Memorial which will become a permanent reminder of their sacrifice. Our goal is to purchase a brick for each of our 85 troopers who did not return. Many of you have purchased one or more memorial bricks. If you have the means and have not honored one of our fallen comrades, consider doing so.

Fiddler's Green is a poem that honors fallen Cavalrymen so I feel it is appropriate to add it here.
In 1925 the "Fiddler's Green" was published in The Cavalry Journal and later included in the Cavalry and Armor Heritage Book Series, Volume 1, Leadership published by the Armor Association.

Fiddler's Green

* * * So when the cavalrymen die, their souls ride away with full pack and arms down the long dusty Road to the Next World. But two miles before the fork where the road turns north for Heaven and south to Hell, they ride off the road and dismount. They lead off to the right and past them march the infantry and the artillerymen drive their guns and caissons past, marching on to the fork of the Road to the Next World.

But the dead troopers lead away from the road to the green fields with trees and streams where by the river are pitched row on row of tents. Up on the hill is Headquarters and there are the marquees of the dead old cavalry officers-they too halted here, for they stayed with their own rather than swagger about Heaven or sweat through Hell. They ride with staff and orderlies, flags and escort, Murat and Seidlitz, Forrest, Ziethen and Stuart, and many more, or sit about the tables in the shade, over maps and glasses, as they did in the years when they fought and rode in this world.

Along the picket lines under the trees, the dead troopers feed and groom, each man his own horse that he loved and rode in life. Now "Recall" blows, and "Mess Call": mess is served by celestial cooks and for K.P. and stable police the angels do miracles. The darkening sky shows its jewelry of stars and troopers rest about the fires, lying on the warm grass, with pipe and mug for every man. All together, man-at-arms and squire, cuirassier, lancer, hussar and dragoon; Briton and Frank, Cossack, Roman, Greek, Yank and Reb-all races and every uniform, at peace by the white and brown tents, the horses resting at the lines; the sergeants cease from troubling, the officers too are at rest; cavalrymen all, dreaming out eternity in the Last Camp.

And afar through the day and night, from the distant Road to the Next World, comes the muffled tramp of the infantry and the rumbling of the guns (and of late there has been the clangor of tanks and from overhead the hum of planes) marching on to the South Fork of the Road to the Next World.

The Cavalry Journal, January 1925
Farewell my brothers and sisters we will meet again at the Fiddler's Green.

If you have a remembrance of a fallen comrade or other story about one of our 85 fallen heroes, please feel free to post it here.

Respectfully,

John

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Who would you most want to see attend the 2008 reunion.

It has been 40 years since we have seen our brothers we served with in A Troop. I have been to three reunions. I attended the 1969 reunion, the 2004 reunion, and 2006 reunion. For me the highlight is visiting with Sam Jenkins, who took a naive young lieutenant and helped mold me into the man I am today. That is a great joy. Visiting with 1st platoon members Carroll, Manny, Larry, Joe, Doc Jones, Ron, Layton, Pat and others at the reunions gives me memories and friendships I will always cherish. We only had a chance to have Joe Bracone at one reunion. He passed away before he could attend another.
I was thinking about the men we served with and who I would like to see at the reunion who has not attended one. I thought of Doug Langdon. Doug served on A10 & A12 from Aug 68 to Apr 69. He was known in the 1st platoon as "flower power" Doug served on A10 during the time I was the 1st platoon leader. Doug received a Bronze Star for his actions on 2 Feb 1969. Doug was a good man who looked out for his fellow soldiers and served the troop well. I am not sure we told him that back in 1968/1969. I would like to tell him now. Doug has not attended a reunion and I am not sure why. Maybe he is unaware of them. Several years ago I had some email contact with Doug but have not heard from him since.
Maybe each of us can make an effort to track down one or two guys we want to see attend the reunion. I will try and find Doug, contact him, and encourage him to attend the reunion.

John,