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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2015  04:08:13 PM

First Team hosts association’s 66th reunion

Email   Print   Share By Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
June 13, 2013 | News
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Ken White, a 1st Cav. Div. Association member and former trooper with the division 1966 to 1968, talks with period-dressed Soldiers Friday about his time with the First Team outside the division headquarters’ Cooper Field. (Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
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Tommy Guinn, 1st Cavalry Veteran since 1970, listens to Staff Sgt. Ratka, a 1st Cav. Div. trooper explains some of the firepower of the Multi-Launch Rocket System during the 1st Cavalry Division Association’s 66th annual reunion, Friday. (Photos by Sgt. Omar Estrada, 3rd BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)
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Thomas Quigley, a 1st Cavalry Division Veteran since 1967, is the first to depart the bus that brought veterans to the 1st Cavalry Division Museum during the 1st Cavalry Division Association’s 66th annual reunion, June 5-Sunday. The 1st Cavalry Division Association exists to preserve and strengthen friendships of former 1st Cav. veterans through annual reunions, chapter activities and a bi-monthly newspaper.
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Sgt. Jason Cray, an engineer assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, recounts his combat experiences to 1st Cav. Div. veterans Friday during the 1st Cavalry Division Association’s 66th annual reunion.
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A 1st Cavalry Division Soldier explains the different types of horse saddles used throughout cavalry history to Paul Breitfeld and his wife, Jane, during the 1st Cavalry Division Association’s 66th annual reunion, held June 5-Sunday. Breitfeld is a 1st Cavalry Division veteran since 1968.
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Patrick Murphy, a 1st Cavalry veteran since 1970, receives a tour Friday, along with his Family, through the 1st Cavalry Division horse stables during the 1st Cavalry Division Association’s 66th annual reunion.
Stetsons, old and new, covered the bleachers of the 1st Cavalry Division’s Cooper Field as the sounds of veterans telling war stories cut through the crowd, with smiles welcoming missed friends and tears remembering those who have passed.

This annual event brought more than 400 1st Cavalry Division veterans and Families together for the 1st Cav. Div. Association’s 66th Annual Reunion at Fort Hood, June 5-Sunday.

Kicking off the reunion was a golf tournament at the Courses at Clear Creek. The tournament started cavalry-style with the firing of a canon.

The First Team hosted many activities for the association. Buses came and went from the division museum where on display were current and past weaponry and vehicles. Attendees talked to current cavalry troopers and asked questions about equipment such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, the M109A6 Paladin, M1A2 Abrams Tank.

Festivities continued as former troopers visited the Horse Cavalry Detachment stables, where today’s Soldiers put on a horse-led demonstration. Horse Det. Soldiers also gave tours of the Ferrier Shop, Leather Shop and a visit with the horses.

The association held War-era, regiment and unit luncheons for the attendees throughout the week, such as the Korean War, the 5th Cavalry Regiment and artillery. This gave the former troopers time to catch up and reacquaint.

First Team troops provided additional support Friday at the “Spirit of the Cav” tableau; a French word depicting a scene or reenactment.

Reveille and lowering the flag started “Spirit of the Cav,” and a traditional Cavalry Charge was also demonstrated.

The tableau depicted Soldiers from each era of the 1st Cavalry Division since 1921. Some period-dressed Soldiers walked across Cooper Field with their steed and others with just the rifle and personal equipment from that war or era.

Behind the Soldiers sat vehicles and weapons to represent the wars. Some of World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, the Gulf and today’s vehicles sat on Cooper Field and Battalion Avenue for all to see.

The 1st Cav. Div. Band was also in attendance playing era-specific music for each trooper walking onto the field. Following the ceremony the reunion attendees and their Families walked the field to talk to current troopers and exchange war stories.

“The whole reunion went beyond my expectations and my favorite part was the Spirit of the Cav,” said Joe Scholl, a 1st Cav. Div. Association member and reunion attendee. Scholl was formerly a generator mechanic in 1967 and 1968 with Headquarters Company, 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cav. Div.

The division commanding general thanked the reunion attendees during a banquet held in their honor for leading the way for today’s troopers.

“Thank you for building a proud legacy for those of us who serve in the division today enjoy and aspire to live up to,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, First Team commanding general. “Thank you for your continued commitment to this division because the reality is this – even if you take off the cavalry yellow and black patch, we all cherish and love, even if you no longer wear the Army uniform, the reality is – once you join America’s First Team you never really leave its ranks.”

Closing out the reunion was a memorial service at the 1st Cav. Memorial Chapel for the former troopers to pay respects to their fallen comrades.

The 1st Cavalry Division Association began July 17, 1944, by a group of First Team Soldiers participating in the New Guinea Campaign of World War II in the Admiralty Islands. According to the association’s website, the establishment of the 1st Cavalry Division Association is for Soldiers and veterans to preserve old friendships and conduct periodic reunions.
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