1st Cavalry Division
Dennis Webster, Executive Director
August 21, 2008
We sadly begin this update by announcing the death of MAJ (R) Ed W. "Too Tall To Fly" Freeman. He passed away on 20 August from complications due to Parkinson's disease in Boise, Idaho. CPT Ed W. Freeman earned the Medal of Honor for numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry on 14 November, 1965. You can read his citation by visiting http://www.1cda.org/MOH_Freeman.htm. His Medal of Honor was awarded to him in July 2001 by President Bush. He was veteran of three wars who retired from the Army in 1967. He was a pilot with over 25,000 hours of flight in helicopters and fixed wing aircraft from his service in the Army and with the Department of the Interior. A Memorial Service will be conducted at the Capital Christian Center in Meridian, Idaho at 1100 hours on Saturday 23 August with burial in the Idaho Veterans Cemetery in Boise. We will have a special recognition on "Too Tall" in the next issue of SABER. God has added another great pilot and Cav Trooper to his ranks and we will all miss him.
A First Team Trooper is among the Army's best. SPC Alexander Elkassamani, B Company, 2-8th Cavalry, earned the title of FORSCOM Soldier of the Year after beating out 7 of the best Soldiers from around Forces Command. The competition was held at Fort Hood from 27-31 July and required the Soldiers to face a question-and-answer board, take a physical fitness test, complete both a day and night land navigation course, complete a series of Warrior Tasks, qualify with a rifle and assemble four disassembled weapons systems. SPC Elkassamani will compete for the Army level Soldier of the Year competition in September.
I had the pleasure of meeting with LTG (R) Julius Becton on 14 August. He was in town for a book signing at the Fort Hood PX. LTG Becton, who commanded the First Team at Fort Hood from February 1975 to November 1976, authored his autobiography titled: Becton - Autobiography of A Soldier and Public Servant. He, BG Fred Rudesheim, and I visited the Division's Memorial for the Operation Iraqi Freedom Troopers on Cooper Field between events. LTG Becton was the commander of VII Corps when I was a staff sergeant in the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany in 1979. I and a fair sized group of noncommissioned officers had the opportunity to spend a portion of one day with him and a Command Sergeant Major named Walt Krueger and get some mentoring. That was a great time for me and a special time that I will always remember and I enjoyed the few minutes that we had together last week. I had last seen the General when I was the Division CSM and attending Walt Krueger's funeral in San Antonio.
Speaking of books, there is a new book out by LTG (R) Hal Moore and Joe Galloway. We Are Soldiers Still, a follow-up to their first book, We Were Soldiers Once...and Young, was recently released and Joe and LTG Moore are doing some book signing of their own beginning in Alabama and the Fort Benning. The tour (sometimes only Joe) makes its way to Texas, California, Illinois, Washington, Oregon, Washington DC, Georgia and Pennsylvania from now until the middle of November. Joe will be in DC for Veterans Day and will be by our hospitality suite to sign some books for the Troopers that are there. I'll be seeing Joe at Fort Hood on 3 September for his signing at the PX. http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780061147760/We_Are_Soldiers_Still/index.aspx
As stated above, we will be hosting a Hospitality Suite for all Veterans of the First Team from 8-11 November. We have expanded our room block at the Crystal City Hilton twice to support those that are coming in to Washington, DC for Veterans Day. We started with 25 rooms and pushed that to 50 and just added 10 more rooms. If you call to reserve a room and they say the block of rooms is full for one or more nights that you want to stay contact me so I can try to expand the block again. For information on Veterans Day activities in Washington, DC visit http://www.1cda.org/VeteransDay_2008.htm.
The 4th BCT is conducting a Town Hall Meeting for the families located at Fort Hood. During the Division's last deployment these were done monthly and help considerably to reduce the number of rumors that always abound during deployments by having a live feed from Iraq to Fort Hood. COL Phil Battaglia will be in Iraq and will be briefing the families at Fort Hood. Keep the Troopers of the 4th BCT in your prayers and take some time to send them a note or a package. Visit the Trooper Support Program web page http://www.1cda.org/TSP.htm to see how you can show your support for the Troopers. There are lots of stories on the Division's web page about the 4th BCT so please visit http://www.hood.army.mil/1stcavdiv/ to read them.
It is time to get the kids back to school and the Foundation of the 1st Cavalry Division Association awarded nine scholarships of up to $1,000 to the children and spouses of some of our active duty Troopers. Five of these recipients have previously received a scholarship grant and four of them are receiving their first grant. Those receiving scholarships were:
Jenny Bell - spouse of SPC Joshua Bell, HHC, Division Special Troops Battalion
Christina Bunyard - spouse of SSG Charles Bunyard A Troop, 6-9 CAV
Dameka Daniels - daughter of CSM James Daniels, 4-9 CAV
Janel Daniels - daughter of CSM James Daniels, 4-9 CAV
Nina Moore - spouse of SSG Adolfo Mora, HHC, Division Special Troops Battalion
Stephanie Rabena - daughter of COL William Rabena, HHC, Division Special Troops Battalion
Jessica Reyes - spouse of SP4 Armando Reyes, HHC, Division Special Troops Battalion
Brandi Waruch - spouse of SGT Ashley Waruch, HHC, Division Special Troops Battalion
Cynthia Wood - spouse of SPC Joshua Wood, HHC, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion
Pray for the Troopers in Iraq and their families and keep the family of Ed Freeman in your prayers as well.
Executive Director, 1st Cavalry Division Association
Phone (254) 547-6537 - Fax (254) 547-8853
Web Page: http://www.1cda.org/