Saturday, September 22, 2007
First Cavalry Division News
I will always be proud of my service with the First Cav in Vietnam. My pride grew when I served alongside a new generation of First Cav troopers in Iraq.
Many years ago I was part of a small group of men who founded the Florida Chapter of the First Cavalry Division Association. Although the hectic pace and disjointed hours of my law enforcement career have not permitted me to remain an active member, these outstanding men from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and the War on Terror are some of the finest men to walk the earth.
The following is from an email I recently received. It is a combination of sadness, memories and pride, but it provides up-to-date information about one of America’s finest fighting forces and the First Cav veterans who have served:
Let me start this with some sad news.
Robert P. “Bob” Cooper who was the President of the Association from 1978-1980 and has served continuously on the Board of Governors since 1982 died at the Amarillo Veterans Hospital on 21 September. Bob served with B Troop, 8th Cavalry at Fort Bliss and during World War II. Bob was instrumental in forming the Horse Cavalry Platoon (now the Horse Cavalry Detachment) and has been a mentor to many of the Troopers that served in the HCD over the years.
We all sometimes wonder what impact we have on the world and I can think of only a few that had as great an impact on preserving the heritage and traditions of the Cavalry as Bob Cooper. Every time I see the Horse Cavalry Detachment do a demonstration or perform a Cavalry charge I will remember Bob and his love for the Troopers and their mounts. Please keep his family in your prayers. Bob’s funeral is scheduled for 1600 hours on Tuesday, 25 September at the Cox Funeral Home in Amarillo, Texas.
I have also been informed by Bob Arbasetti of the death of Joe Capozzi, B Troop, 5th Cavalry, World War II on 19 September. Joe was a member of the Advisory Council and passed away from pneumonia and problems with residual scare tissue from numerous surgeries over the past 60 years. Joe lived in Lodi, New Jersey.
If you are planning on going to Washington, DC for Veterans Day we have updated information on events there on our web page at http://www.1cda.org/VeteransDay_2007.htm. The “All The Way Brigade Chapter” has done all of the coordination for this event and a Brotherhood of the Pleiku Banquet has been coordinated. A direct link to the information on their activities is http://allthewaybrigade.com/Reunion%20Pleiku%202007/Registration%202.html . A Hospitality Suite and small LZ Souvenir Shop will be set up in the Hyatt Arlington located at 1325 Wilson Blvd in Arlington, VA. The hotel is located close to the Key Bridge and is directly across the street from the Rosslyn stop on the Blue Line of the Metro system. If you live in the area or are visiting DC during that time, stop and visit with us.
The September/October SABER is at the printer and should be mailed out to those who have valid subscriptions sometime next week. We are working on the 2008 Calendar and plan on having it off to the printer by the middle of October.
The Division celebrated its 86th Birthday this month. As most of you know, the Division was organized at Fort Bliss, Texas on 13 September, 1921. Harry Boudreau has been updating his web page, http://www.first-team.us/ and is back on line and feeling much better than he was a few months ago. Harry serves as the Association Historian and has compiled some rather extensive unit histories which are linked from our Association web page. I’m sure that he would appreciate any updates from the units in Iraq concerning the newest historical facts for our units and the Division as a whole.
Many of you may be interested in knowing that the 1st Cavalry Division has reenlisted more Troopers during the past fiscal year than any other division in Forces Command. They have reenlisted more than 4,600 with a few days remaining in the fiscal year. Their nearest competitor is the 2nd Infantry Division and they are more than 2,500 behind. Interestingly, the majority of those reenlisting choose to stay with the First Team. Of course, some choose schooling and some ask for overseas assignment or another assignment in the states, but the majority of the Troopers chose to stay with the CAV. We congratulate the Division’s Career Counselors and the leadership of the Division from Squad Leader through Division Commander!
Last week I attended the monthly Memorial Service for seven of the First Team casualties. The Troopers of the 4th BCT are memorialized at ceremonies at Fort Bliss and those from attached units are also done elsewhere. We memorialized five men and two women this month. Their names are:
PV2 Michael Baloga, 6-9 CAV
SPC Charles Leonard, A 1-8 CAV
SGT Princess Samuels, HHC, 1st BDE
SSG Wilberto Sulliveras, C 2-8 CAV
PFC Omar Torres, A 2-5 CAV
SPC Zandra Walker, A 615 ASB
SPC Donald Young, B 1-5 CAV
A list of all of our Fallen Troopers is available at http://www.1cda.org/fallen_troopers.htm.
I have completed my trips to Jacksonville, Florida and Bloomington, Minnesota coordinating the 2008 Reunion and signing contracts for the 2010 Reunion. Information on the 2008 Reunion will come out in the calendars and be in the November/December SABER. You can reserve your rooms now if you wish. We will be staying at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel. The dates of the reunion are 18-22 June, 2008. The toll-free reservation number is (800) 233-1234. Make sure you identify yourself as part of the 1st Cavalry Division Association to reserve your room at the $92 rate. There is free self-parking for all registered hotel guests. If you stay at another hotel, you will have to pay to park at the hotel or in one of the cities parking areas.
The Division will begin returning from Iraq soon. Information on the redeployment and the holiday mailing deadlines is available on our web page at http://www.1cda.org/TSP.htm. I also recommend the Division’s web page at http://www.hood.army.mil/1stcavdiv/ for recent updates and news on the Division and its attached units.
Keep all who serve our nation in the Armed Services in your prayers but say a special prayer for the Troopers and families of the First Team!
Executive Director, 1st Cavalry Division Association
Phone (254) 547-6537 Fax (254) 547-8853
Web Page: http://www.1cda.org/
I echo the Executive Director: "First Team!"
SFC Chuck Grist