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2018 Army Birthday Dinner Speech Given by GEN Frederick Franks, Jr., USA Ret.
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Speech Given by General Frederick Franks, Jr., USA Retired

USAHEC CARLISLE PA

ARMY BIRTHDAY 2 JUNE 2018

 

YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SURPRISE AN OLD CAVALRYMAN, BOB! (MG ROBERT SCALES, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AHEC FOUNDATION). I AM SURPRISED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR VERY GENEROUS AND WARM INTRODUCTION. THANK YOU AS WELL FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP AS CHAIRMAN OF THE ARMY HERITAGE CENTER FOUNDATION BOARD AND TO ALL YOUR BOARD MEMBERS FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE TO ENABLE THIS MAGNIFICENT ARMY CENTER TO TELL THE ARMY STORY ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME. THERE COULD NOT BE ANY MORE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY. THANKS TO YOU AND YOUR BOARD ALL THOSE IN AHEC FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE. IT IS GREAT TO SEE YOU AND DIANA AGAIN TONIGHT.

 

FELLOW WEST POINT CLASSMATES HERE, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE TONIGHT. DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, FELLOW VETERANS, THOSE SERVING TODAY WITH SUCH COURAGE AND SELFLESSNESS AND YOUR FAMILIES. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

 

I AM HUMBLED AND HONORED TO BE HERE. THANK YOU FOR INCLUDING DENISE AND ME BACK HOME. I SAID TO DENISE WHAT BETTER WAY TO SPEND SOME TIME THAN TO RETURN TO OUR NATIVE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA TO TALK ABOUT THE US ARMY? WE GREW UP JUST 70 MILES EAST OF HERE JUST OUTSIDE READING. WE WENT TO THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL, WILSON HIGH SCHOOL, GRADUATED IN 1954. SO, IT IS GREAT TO BE BACK HOME. 59 YEARS AGO, TOMORROW 3 JUNE MY CLASSMATES AND I RAISED OUR RIGHT HAND AND SWORE TO PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION JUST AS THESE SEVEN YOUNG PEOPLE DID EARLIER ENLISTING INTO THE US ARMY. THREE DAYS LATER DENISE AND I WERE MARRIED AND WILL CELEBRATE OUR 59TH ANNIVERSARY NEXT WEDNESDAY 6 JUNE.

 

NOW FREQUENTLY, ESPECIALLY AFTER AN INTRODUCTION LIKE THAT I GET A LITTLE TOO FULL OF MYSELF, A LITTLE PUMPED UP AND I HAVE ASKED DENISE THIS QUESTION BEFORE, HOW MANY GREAT MEN DO YOU THINK THERE ARE IN THIS WORLD? AND SHE HAS A READY ANSWER FOR THAT QUESTION. SHE ALWAYS SAYS, ONE LESS THAN YOU THINK THERE ARE FRED. SOMETIMES I GET A LITTLE TOO FULL OF MYSELF AND ASK DENISE HOW MANY GREAT MEN THERE ARE IN THE WORLD AND SHE QUICKLY ANSWERS, ONE LESS THAN YOU THINK THERE ARE, FRED.

 

HAPPY 243D BIRTHDAY UNITED STATES ARMY!!

 

OUR US ARMY IS OLDER THAN OUR NATION IT SERVES SO PROUDLY. SINCE 14 JUNE 1775, (AND YOU CAN READ THE JOURNAL ENTRY INSIDE YOUR DINNER PROGRAM) AN UNBROKEN LEGACY OF SOLDIERS, DRAWN FROM ACROSS THE STRONG DIVERSITY THAT IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BEING THERE FOR OUR NATION TO WIN OUR INDEPENDENCE AND DEFEND OUR FREEDOMS AND WAY OF LIFE, HERE ON THIS CONTINENT, THEN AROUND THE WORLD DOWN TO THIS DAY 2 JUNE 2018.

 

WE ARE HERE TO CELEBRATE AND REFLECT ON THAT CENTERPIECE, THAT KEYSTONE OF OUR JOINT FORMATIONS. THAT ROCK OF OUR NATION’S DEFENSE OF OUR LIBERTIES. THE WORLD’S BEST LAND FORCE. THE US ARMY. HAPPY 243D BIRTHDAY!!

 

NOW I AM NOT A HISTORIAN BUT I LIKE OT HANG OUT WITH THEM, A PHRASE I BORROWED FROM GENERAL CARL VUONO WHO I HEARD USE IT MANY TIMES.

SO, I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT HISTORY, SOME THAT WE ALL HAVE STUDIED, THEN SOME I WAS PRIVILEGED TO LIVE MYSELF, AND TOGETHER SEE WHAT THAT REVEALS ABOUT THE ETHOS OF OUR ARMY OVER THESE 243 YEARS.

 

OUR NATION AND OUR ARMY BEGAN WITH IDEALS OF LIBERTY, OF SELF GOVERNMENT, INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS, OF WHAT JEFFERSON WOULD LATER CALL “WE THE PEOPLE” AND LINCOLN A “GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE”.

 

THOSE IDEALS CLASHED WITH THE AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF KING GEORGE III LEADING TO ARMED RESISTANCE AT LEXINGTON AND CONCORD ON THE 17TH OF APRIL OF 1775. LEADERS IN NEW ENGLAND SOON PETITIONED THE SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS IN PHILADELPHIA TO FORM AN ARMY TO UNITE THE COLONIAL MILITIAS AT BOSTON UNDER A NATIONAL COMMAND. ON 14 JUNE 1775, THAT CONGRESS DIRECTED FORMING OF 10 REGIMENTS OF EXPERT INFANTRY UNDER NATIONAL AUTHORITY, SIX FROM PENNSYLVANIA, TWO FROM MARYLAND, AND TWO FROM VIRGINIA. I MIGHT ADD AS A POINT OF PENNSYLVANIA PRIDE THAT THE RESPONSE WAS SO GREAT IN PENNSYLVANIA THAT THREE MORE COMPANIES WERE FORMED. ALL 13 REPORTED TO BOSTON TO FORM THE NUCLEUS OF THIS NEW CONTINENTAL ARMY. ON 15 JUNE GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS NAMED COMMANDER IN CHIEF. HE RAPIDLY MOVED TO BOSTON WITHOUT FIRST GOING HOME OR SAYING GOOD BYE TO HIS WIFE, AND ASSUMED COMMAND THERE ON 3 JULY 1775.

 

243 YEARS AGO, THAT NATIONAL US ARMY WAS ESSENTIAL TO WINNING OUR FREEDOMS. THE FIRST TO FIGHT. THE HISTORIAN DAVID MCCULLOUGH SAID IN HIS BOOK 1776: “BUT IN THE LAST ANALYSIS IT WAS WASHINGTON AND THE ARMY THAT WON THE WAR FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. THE FATE OF THE WAR AND THE REVOLUTION RESTED ON THE ARMY. THE CONTINENTAL ARMY … WAS THE KEY TO VICTORY.

 

AMERICA CAN BE PROUD OF HER ARMY FROM THOSE BEGINNINGS TO THIS DAY. EACH GENERATION OF AMERICANS HAS STEPPED UP TO DEFEND OUR FREEDOMS AND LIBERTY, FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON WHO, WHEN APPOINTED COMMANDER IN CHIEF, SAID WITH GREAT HUMILITY BUT ALSO WITH TOTAL COMMITMENT, “I FEEL GREAT DISTRESS…THAT MY ABILITIES AND MILITARY EXPERIENCE MAY NOT BE EQUAL TO THE EXTENSIVE AND IMPORTANT TRUST: HOWEVER AS CONGRESS DESIRE IT, I WILL ENTER UPON THE MOMENTOUS DUTY AND EXERT EVERY POWER I POSES IN THEIR SERVICE AND FOR SUPPORT OF THEIR GLORIOUS CAUSE…” JOHN ADAMS WOULD DESCRIBE WASHINGTON TO HIS WIFE: AS MODEST, VIRTUOUS, AMIABLE, GENEROUS, AND BRAVE.

 

WHAT OF THE GENERATION SERVING NOW? ALMOST 470,000 ACTIVE ARMY SOLDIERS WITH ALMOST 30,000 MOBILIZED FROM USAR AND ARNG. 109,000 OF THOSE SOLDIERS SERVE OVERSEAS IN OVER 140 COUNTRIES, MANY IN HARM’S WAY AS WE ALL KNOW; ANOTHER 69,000 IN THE USA AND OUR TERRITORIES SUPPORT COMBATANT COMMANDS. ACCOMPLISHING TOUGH NATIONAL SECURITY MISSIONS: IN KOREA, IRAQ, SYRIA, EASTERN EUROPE, AFRICA, AND THE NOW ALMOST 17 YEAR-LONG WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. THEIR FAMILIES HERE AT HOME, SELFLESSLY SERVING, VOLUNTEERING, RAISING FAMILIES, WORKING IN THEIR OWN CAREERS. OUR OWN GRANDSON MICKEY BOZEK IS A CPT IN 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION WITH HIS FAMILY. COULD I ASK ALL THOSE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY TO PLEASE STAND WITH YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS. (APPLAUSE). THANK YOU.

 

THESE CHAPTERS IN OUR ARMY HISTORY ARE BEING WRITTEN ABOUT THOSE TOUGH MISSIONS, DEFENDING AMERICAN LIBERTY, ARCHIVED RIGHT HERE AT AHEC, ‘ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME’ AS THE INSPIRING MOTTO SAYS. AHEC ENSURES WE RECORD, REMEMBER, AND KNOW OUR INSPIRING HISTORY AND CELEBRATE THAT SELFLESS SERVICE, THAT NOBILITY OF COURAGE TO DEFEND WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE STAND FOR.

 

THE NOBLE SERVICE TO THOSE IDEALS OF LIBERTY AND SELF GOVERNMENT SINCE THOSE EARLY BEGINNINGS ARE OUR US ARMY CREDENTIALS, THIS UNIQUE INSTITUTION OF AMERICA, SO NOBLY SERVING AND FULFILLING DAILY THE TRUST OF OUR PEOPLE, BEARING TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE OUR FOUNDING BODY OF IDEAS IN OUR DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND OUR CONSTITUTION. WE FOLLOW THE “THIS WE’LL DEFEND” MOTTO ON OUR ARMY FLAG DRAWN FROM THE 1776 WAR OFFICE SEAL AND SET ABOVE THE LIBERTY CAP. WHAT IS IT THAT WE’LL DEFEND? IT IS OUR LIBERTY, OUR UNITED STATES, OUR CONSTITUTION.

 

OUR ARMY DOES MANY GREAT THINGS FOR OUR NATION. BUT I BELIEVE THE MOST IMPORTANT DUTY IT DOES IS TO FIGHT AND WIN OR STAY READY TO DO THAT TO FULFILL OUR TRUST TO THAT MOTTO, ‘THIS WE’LL DEFEND’ AND TO OUR CONSTITUTION.

 

THIS NOBLE SERVICE IS CAPTURED BY GEN CREIGHTON ABRAMS’ STATEMENT INSCRIBED ON THE MEMORIAL PLAQUE HERE AT CARLISLE, JUST OUT SIDE ROOT HALL, AWC. THERE MUST BE, WITHIN OUR ARMY, A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND A DEDICATION TO THAT PURPOSE. THERE MUST BE A WILLINGNESS TO MARCH A LITTLE FARTHER, TO CARRY A HEAVIER LOAD, TO STEP OUT INTO THE DARKNESS AND THE UNKNOWN FOR THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF OTHERS.”

 

OUR ARMY’S HISTORY INDEED HAS BEEN WRITTEN ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME.

 

AT TRENTON AFTER DEFEATS ACROSS NYC AND NEW JERSEY, FROM LATE DECEMBER 1776 TO EARLY JANUARY 1777, WASHINGTON AND HIS SOLDIERS, ROSE TO THE OCCASION, THEIR TOUGH MISSION, AND HARSH WINTER CONDITIONS. THEY “STEPPED OUT INTO THAT DARKNESS”. NO COMPLAINING, NO WHINING. JUST FIND A WAY TO WIN. THEY DID SO AT TRENTON IN SPITE OF THE DEFEATIST ATTITUDE OF MANY OF THEIR COUNTRYMEN READY TO GIVE UP THE CAUSE. THEY MADE A DIFFERENCE AND TURNED THE TIDE OF HISTORY. THEN, AFTER THAT BATTLE, AND A SECOND WINTER CROSSING OF THE DELAWARE, WASHINGTON APPEALED TO HIS SOLDIERS AS ENLISTMENTS WERE ABOUT TO RUN OUT, ‘YOU HAVE WORN YOURSELVES OUT WITH FATIGUE AND HARDSHIPS, BUT WE KNOW NOT HOW TO SPARE YOU. IF YOU WILL CONSENT TO STAY ONE MONTH LONGER, YOU WILL RENDER THAT SERVICE TO THE CAUSE OF LIBERTY, AND TO YOUR COUNTRY, WHICH YOU CAN PROBABLY NEVER DO UNDER ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE.’ THEY STAYED AND WENT ON TO ANOTHER VICTORY CATCHING THE BRITISH FROM BEHIND AT PRINCETON. (MCCULLOUGH 285-286). AN EARLY ETHOS OF NO QUIT TOUGHNESS AND RESILIENCE, BATTLE SKILL, SELFLESS SERVICE, LOYALTY AND DUTY, HONOR, VALOR, VICTORY. UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

AT GETTYSBURG, WHERE I WENT FOR MANY YEARS WITH WEST POINT CADETS LED BY MY GREAT FRIEND AND HISTORIAN BG JACK MOUNTCASTLE HERE TONIGHT WITH HIS WIFE SUSAN. AS THE ARMY BEFORE IT HAD WON OUR INDEPENDENCE, THIS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC SAVED OUR YOUNG NATION BY THEIR VALOR AND SACRIFICE. THOSE WHO IN PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S WORDS “GAVE THAT LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION”; THEY GAVE US “A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM. LT ALONZO CUSHING, BATTERY A, 4TH US ARTILLERY, POSITIONED WITH THE PHILADELPHIA BRIGADE, KILLED IN ACTION THERE AT HIS GUNS ON THE THIRD DAY, DEFENDING THE UNION LINE AT THE POINT OF THE CONFEDERATE MAIN ATTACK WITH HIS FIRST SERGEANT FREDERICK FUGER NEVER LEAVING HIM. HE WAS AWARDED POSTHUMOUSLY IN 2014 THE MEDAL OF HONOR. COURAGE. SELFLESS SERVICE, NO QUIT RESILIENCE, MISSION FIRST, DUTY, HONOR, SACRIFICE. VICTORY. AMERICAN SOLDIERS. OUR UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

NONE OF THIS HAS BEEN WITHOUT ENORMOUS AND SELFLESS SACRIFICE.

 

THIS WEEK WE STOPPED ON OUR 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF MEMORIAL DAY. ACROSS AMERICA IT IS NOW A SACRED DAY, TO HONOR AND REMEMBER THOSE WHO GAVE THAT LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO BEAR THE CONTINUOUS PAIN OF THEIR LOSS. FROM THIS CURRENT WAR, ALMOST 7,000 WHO HAVE DIED, OVER 4,000 FROM OUR US ARMY. WE ALL GIVE OUR DEEPEST RESPECT AND HONOR TO THOSE FROM THIS GENERATION AND TO ALL THOSE OF ALL OUR WARS DEFENDING OUR LIBERTY FROM OUR BEGINNINGS THROUGH 100 YEARS AGO OF WWI, WW II, KOREA, VIETNAM, DESERT STORM TO NOW. WE INSCRIBED ON THE WWII MEMORIAL WHEN I WAS HONORED TO BE A MEMBER OF AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION IN WASHINGTON IN FRONT OF THAT FIELD OF OVER 4,000 GOLD STARS, “HERE WE MARK THE PRICE OF FREEDOM.”

 

WE KNOW WELL THERE ARE OTHER COSTS WE CALL THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WOUNDS OF WAR. WE HONOR OVER 1700 AMPUTEES FROM THIS WAR, OVER 1100 ARMY, GETTING BACK UP AGAIN AND GOING ON, “GOING THE DISTANCE AND BEYOND” (THEIR MOTTO), MANY CONTINUING TO SERVE, LIKE LTC(P) DAVE ROZELLE HERE TONIGHT WITH HIS WIFE KIM, AS I WAS BY OUR ARMY, WHICH FOR ME WAS LIFE’S GREAT PRIVILEGE, TO THE INVISIBLE WOUNDS OF PTS AND TBI THAT WE ALL ADVOCATE THAT THE BEST OF OUR MEDICAL SCIENCES PUBLIC AND PRIVATE BE DEVOTED TO TREATING AND HEALING.

 

DEVOTION, SELFLESS SACRIFICE. VICTORY. US ARMY.

 

THOSE OF OUR VIETNAM GENERATION. OUR ARMY SOLDIERS WHO REMAINED DEVOTED TO THEIR OATHS, THAT VERY SAME OATH THESE NEW SOLDIERS TOOK TONIGHT, EVEN WHEN THEIR SERVICE WAS DENIED RESPECT WITH BROKEN TRUST BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THEY SERVED AND BY SOME OF THEIR LEADERS. THOSE OF OUR VIETNAM GENERATION. FROM REMARKS BY COL (RET) DR. BOB SORLEY HERE TONIGHT WITH HIS WIFE GINNY, “I TITLED MY REMARKS “ALSO GREAT” AND BEGAN BY OBSERVING HOW, IN RECENT YEARS, MUCH ATTENTION HAD BEEN FOCUSED ON OUR VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II, FAMOUSLY CHARACTERIZED BY TOM BROKAW AS “THE GREATEST GENERATION.” MORE RECENTLY, I NOTED, AMERICA HAD SENT NEARLY THREE MILLION SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN TO A WAR IN VIETNAM. THERE THEY SERVED, I SUGGESTED, WITH VALOR AND ABILITIES FULLY EQUAL TO THOSE OF THEIR WORLD WAR II COUNTERPARTS, BUT—PRIMARILY DUE TO IDEOLOGICAL CONTENTION SWIRLING AROUND THE WAR AND, INEVITABLY, THOSE WHO FOUGHT IT—THEIR SACRIFICES AND ACHIEVEMENTS HAD NEVER BEEN ADEQUATELY APPRECIATED, MUCH LESS ACKNOWLEDGED OR ACCLAIMED. YET, I SAID, THEY WERE ALSO GREAT.”  

 

LAST JULY AT FENWAY PARK BOSTON, ON THE FIELD BEFORE THE GAME WITH THE YANKEES, THERE WAS A PUBLIC TRIBUTE TO THAT ALSO GREAT GENERATION, 800 OF US ON THE FIELD WITH 500 FAMILY MEMBERS, HUMBLED BUT PROUD OF OUR WELL AND FAITHFULLY EXECUTED SERVICE DESPITE NO HOMECOMING AND THE BROKEN TRUST. ONE, RICHARD WATKINS BROCKTON, MA, WAS WEARING A CAP; IT READS, VIETNAM VETERAN. NO REGRETS. DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY (HOLD UP CAP). I ASKED WHERE DID YOU GET IT? HE SAID I MADE IT MYSELF. HE SENT THIS ONE I WEAR PROUDLY. HE SAID I ALSO WROTE A BOOK. IT IS ONE WE SHOULD GET HERE, ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME. WE CANNOT CHANGE WHAT HAPPENED AND THAT BROKEN TRUST BUT WE CAN VOW NEVER TO LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN. VALOR, NO QUIT TOUGHNESS AND RESILIENCE, BATTLE SKILL, DEVOTION. LOYALTY, DUTY, SELFLESS SACRIFICE. YES. ALSO GREAT. UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

SOLDIERS AND LEADERS OF OUR 146,000 SOLDIER VII CORPS WHO ATTACKED 24-28 FEBRUARY 1991 250 KM IN 89 HOURS EXECUTING THAT ARMORED CLOSED FIST LEFT HOOK ATTACK FIGHTING AND WINNING THAT LARGEST TANK BATTLE OF SOUTHERN IRAQ AND NORTHERN KUWAIT IN OUR HISTORY AND WITH THE COALITION LIBERATED KUWAIT. PFC BRUCE HUGGINS, A TANK MECHANIC IN 1/37 ARMOR, THE VERY SAME ARMORED REGIMENT GENERAL CREIGHTON ABRAMS COMMANDED BREAKING THROUGH TO LIBERATE BASTOGNE IN WWII, HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, “THEY ASKED FOR OUR HELP AND WE’RE GOING TO GIVE THEM THAT HELP AND WE’LL FREE THAT COUNTRY. WE’LL DO OUR JOB, GO HOME, AND CARRY ON WITH LIFE.” LIBERATE KUWAIT. CRYSTAL CLEAR MISSION STATEMENT BY A PFC. HISTORY ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME. AS GREAT MISSION CLARITY AS IN THE NOW DECLASSIFIED NATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTIVE OF EARLY JANUARY 1991. SPECIALIST SHAWN FREENEY, ALSO A MECHANIC, “IT LETS YOU KNOW THAT, WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, YOU’RE AROUND FAMILY. ALL OF US HERE ARE FAMILY—RIGHT HERE IS MY FAMILY.” YES FAMILY. TEAMWORK, SOLDIERS FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS FROM ACROSS AMERICA UNITED TOGETHER FOCUSED ON ONE MISSION AS A GREAT TEAM. A MOTHER OF 2D ACR TROOPER WHO SAID, ‘IT WAS TRAINING AND TEAMWORK THAT KEPT MY SON ALIVE”. PFC MCLEMORE INJURED IN TRAINING BEFORE OUR ATTACK WHO WHEN I ASKED HIM IN THE HOSPITAL WHAT I COULD DO FOR HIM ASKED ME TO GET HIM BACK TO HIS UNIT. SO, WE DID, WITH ME ON MY COMMAND BLACKHAWK TO HIS UNIT, 1ST SQUADRON, 2D ACR.

 

THE NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER IN 3D ARMORED DIVISION WHO SAID TO ME 15 FEBRUARY 1991, DON’T WORRY GENERAL WE TRUST YOU’. NOW THAT NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER CAPTURED AS NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS FREQUENTLY DO WHEN WE TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN TO THEM, ONE OF THE BASIC TRUTHS OF COMBAT LEADERSHIP. GAIN THEN MAINTAIN TRUST IN THE WAY WE PREPARE THEM FOR MISSIONS, BY THE WAY WE COMMAND AND LEAD OUR SOLDIERS IN COMBAT.  BY OUR DECISIONS AND JUDGEMENTS WE MAKE TO ACCOMPLISH THOSE MISSIONS AT LEAST COST TO THEM THAT FULFILL THAT BOND OF TRUST BETWEEN US AND THOSE ENTRUSTED TO OUR LEADERSHIP FROM ACROSS AMERICA .IN AN INSTANT THAT NCO CAPTURED THE BASIC TRUTH OF LEADERSHIP AND COMMAND, AS NCO’S FREQUENTLY DO WHEN WE ARE WILLING TO LISTEN TO THEM. EARN THEN SUSTAIN THE TRUST OF THOSE ENTRUSTED TO US FROM AMERICA BY THE WAY WE PREPARE THEM FOR THE MISSION THEN OUR DECISIONS AND METHODS OF COMMAND TO ACCOMPLISH THE MISSION AT LEAST COST TO THEM. STUNNED ME. INSPIRING AND DEEPLY MOVING TO HEAR SUCH DEVOTION AND WILLINGNESS TO GIVE IT ALL. RENEWED MY OWN DRIVE TO FULFILL THAT TRUST. I BELIEVE THAT TO LEAD IS ALSO TO SERVE. SO, YES, FULFILLMENT OF THAT TRUST IS WHAT WE DO, TO OUR SOLDIERS ENTRUSTED TO US IF WE ARE LEADERS, AND ALL OF US AS AN ARMY TO OUR OATH OF SERVICE AND TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. SELFLESS TEAMWORK, DISCIPLINE. NO QUIT TOUGHNESS. COURAGE. FAITHFUL DEVOTION. SACRIFICE. VICTORY. UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

THIS GENERATION SERVING SO SELFLESSLY WITH GREAT SKILL, DEVOTION, AND COURAGE TODAY. CPT MARK NUTSCH AND HIS ODA TEAM 595 THE HORSE SOLDIERS IN 2001 WHO CAME LATER FOR ONE CLASS TWO YEARS IN A ROW TO MENTOR CADETS IN OUR BATTLE COMMAND ELECTIVE AT WEST POINT TO OUR OWN PA ARNG 28TH DIVISION SOLDERS NOW TF SPARTAN IN KUWAIT, TO ALL THOSE REPEATEDLY DEPLOYED ON MULTIPLE TOURS OVER THESE 17 YEARS AND YOUR FAMILIES, TO AMPUTEES GOING ON AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE LIKE LTC (P) DAVE ROZELLE, SSG ANDY MCCAFFERY, SFC LEROY PETRY ALSO MOH, SSG JOHN GOUDIE, COL GREG GADSON, CPT SETH NIEMAN TO MOH RECIPIENTS DENISE AND I HAD THE HONOR TO MEET, TY CARTER AND RYAN PITTS, TO THOSE I WAS PRIVILEGED TO TEACH AT WEST POINT, MAJORS ELI MYERS, JAKE VANKO AND SARAH JOHNSON. INDEED, ‘THIS WE’LL DEFEND’.

 

WHAT A STUNNING 243 YEAR HISTORY TO CELEBRATE AND HONOR. STARTING WITH HUMILITY AS WITH WASHINGTON’S ACCEPTANCE OF HIS DUTY. SERVING A CAUSE AND IDEALS LARGER THAN OURSELVES SO SELFLESSLY AND AT SUCH GREAT SACRIFICE. AS RECORDED ON THE STATUE NEAR HERE IN ANTIETAM NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD, CALLED OLD SIMON, “NOT FOR OURSELVES BUT FOR OUR COUNTRY”. WELL AND FAITHFULLY. HISTORY ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME. UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

JUNE 14 OUR ARMY BIRTHDAY IS A DAY THAT USUALLY PASSES WITHOUT MUCH PUBLIC NOTICE. LARGELY AWAY FROM PUBLIC VIEW, OUR US ARMY HAS EXECUTED ITS DUTIES FAITHFULLY AND SOMETIMES AT GREAT SACRIFICE TO SOLDIERS AND FAMILIES. THAT SELFLESS SERVICE, THAT SKILLED AND VERSATILE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY, THAT PRIDE THAT COMES FROM KNOWING YOU DID YOUR DUTY TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES AND DID IT HONORABLY, HAS LARGELY DEFINED THE US ARMY IN PEACE AND WAR. SUCH BEHAVIOR HAS BEEN ETCHED IN OUR CONSCIOUSNESS BY THE DEEDS AND ACTIONS OF THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US AND BY THOSE WHO SERVE NOW AND INSPIRE US DAILY.

 

OURS IS A MAGNIFICENT HISTORY ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME AT THE VERY FOUNDATION OF DEFENSE OF OUR LIBERTIES WITH TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO OUR CONSTITUTION. OUR ARMY IS THE KEYSTONE OF OUR JOINT FORMATIONS. AT AHEC WE CAN REFLECT ON THOSE STORIES AND HONOR OUR ARMY AND OUR NATION THESE SOLDIERS SO WELL AND FAITHFULLY SERVED AND WHO GAVE US OUR US ARMY IDENTITY THROUGH THE AGES. AN ETHOS AND AN IDENTITY OF COURAGE, SELFLESSNESS, SKILL AND ADAPTABILITY, VERSATILITY, HONOR, FAITHFUL DEVOTION, NO QUIT TOUGHNESS AND RESILIENCE, SACRIFICE, AND VICTORY.

 

IT WAS A LIFE’S PRIVILEGE TO HAVE WALKED IN THEIR RANKS AND SERVED SIDE BY SIDE WITH THEM FOR TWO DAYS SHORT OF 35 ½ YEARS, IN TWO WARS, WITH MY LIFE’S PARTNER DENISE AND ALL THOSE SELFLESS FAMILIES WHO SERVE WITH THEIR OWN BRAND OF COURAGE RIGHT TO THOSE OF YOU SERVING TODAY.

 

GOD BLESS THIS MAGNIFICENT UNITED STATES ARMY AND THE SPLENDID AMERICAN SOLDIERS WHO SO FAITHFULLY SERVE AND SACRIFICE TO STAND BETWEEN THE EVIL OUT THERE THREATENING OUR LIBERTY AND ALL OF US HERE AT HOME. THIS WE’LL DEFEND. GOD BLESS AMERICA. HAPPY 243D BIRTHDAY UNITED STATES ARMY. THANK YOU.

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43rd Bombardment Group Reenactment and Lecture Program
News and Events

43rd Bombardment Group Reenactment and Lecture Program

 

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle

Saturday and Sunday, July 28 & 29, 2018

 

 

The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) and the Army Heritage Center Foundation are pleased to announce a special program commemorating the service of the 43rd Bombardment Group during WWII.  The weekend program is in support of the 43rd Bombardment Group Association’s 2018 reunion and will include a lecture series and a reenactment on both Saturday and Sunday, July 28 & 29, 2018.  The Association invites the public to this free event. 

 

The 43rd Bombardment Group assigned to the 5th Air Force entered combat in September 1942. From then until November 1944, the group operated in support of the campaign in New Guinea, first from Australia, then from New Guinea and Owi Island, concentrated in particular in attacks on shipping vessels. The unit experimented with low level skip bombing using this tactic at the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, March 2-4, 1943 with some success. The Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for its efforts during this battle. In November 1944, the group moved to the Philippines, helping the ground campaign at Luzon as well as conducting strategic bombing missions against targets in China and Formosa. Finally in July 1945, the group moved to Le Shima, from where it flew missions over Japan attacking shipping vessels as well as airfields and railways. 

The lectures will occur in the Visitor and Education Center of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center and the reenactment on the Army Heritage Trail. 

Free lectures.  Lectures will occur both Saturday and Sunday.

·       Saturday, 10:30 a.m.:  Larry Lewis:  Sadie’s Boys which is the story of his father who as a member of Co I, 3rd Bn, 415th Infantry,  104th Infantry Division was captured on December 3, 1944 near Lucherberg, Germany and his uncle a B-17 Navigator and member of the 43rd Bombardment Group that went missing over New Guinea.

·       Saturday, 1:00 p.m.:  Bob Drury and Jim Rembisz.  Bob Drury is the author of the Lucky 666: The Impossible Mission which is the story of the only double Medal of Honor mission in the history of the Air Force.  Jim Rembisz is the nephew of Joseph Sarnoski who was one of the airmen to receive the Medal of Honor.

·       Saturday, 3:00 p.m.: David Allen Lambert will speak on Researching U.S. and Canadian WWI Veterans.  Lambert has been on the staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston Massachusetts since 1993 and is the organization’s Chief Genealogist. He is an internationally recognized speaker on the topics of genealogy and history and an elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, Mass., as well as a life member of the New Hampshire Society of the Cincinnati. He serves as the Registrar of the Massachusetts Sons of the Revolution and the State Historian for the Massachusetts Sons of the American Revolution.  He is also the tribal genealogist for the Massachusett-Punkapoag Indians of Massachusetts.

·      Sunday, 1:00 p.m.: David Allen Lambert Researching American WWII Veterans

·      Sunday, 3:00 p.m.:  Dr. Michael Spradlin:  Author of the Sons of the 43rd: The Story of Delmar Dotson, Gray Allison, and the Men of the 43rd Bombardment Group in the Southwest Pacific.

 

The Reenactment.  The reenactment will occur at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center on both Saturday and Sunday on the Army Heritage Trail.  The reenactors will recreate the group’s headquarters and mission briefs for air attacks that occurred during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, which occurred in the Southwest Pacific in March 1943.  These air attacks resulted in significant losses to the Japanese Army. 

 

Schedule of Events:

o   Saturday:  10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Open to the public

§  2:00 p.m.: Full squadron air mission brief for a target in support of the Battle of the Bismarck Sea

o   Sunday:  Noon to 5:00 p.m.

§  Noon:  Church Service by former Army Chaplain Dr. Michael Spradlin using sermon preached during WWII by the Chaplain of the 43rd.

§  2:00 p.m.:  Mission Brief

 

After visiting the reenactment or attending one of the lectures, feel free to visit USAHEC’s exhibits, including the Soldier Experience Gallery, the “Battle Babies” art exhibit, and the World War I exhibit, entitled “Goodbye Broadway, Hello France.” You can also grab lunch at Café Cumberland from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., or browse the book selection found at the museum bookstore. Parking is free, and the USAHEC facility is handicap accessible.

 

 

For more information about the Center please visit their website at www.USAHEC.org or the Foundation’s website at www.armyheritage.org.

 

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Home Front to Battlefront: The GI View of WWII
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Carl Lavin was a high school senior in Canton, Ohio when 4,500 miles away Japanese Zeros screamed over Pearl Harbor. Along with thousands of young men and women, Lavin responded by joining the U.S. Army as soon as he turned 18. His decision led him from Ohio to Europe with the 84th Infantry Division, through battle at the front lines, and finally to victory and Occupation. On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at 7:15 PM, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania will host Carl Lavin’s son, Mr. Frank Lavin, as he gives a lecture based on his book, Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II. Mr. Lavin will tell his father’s story, garnered from personal letters and recollections, interviews with Carl Lavin’s brothers in arms, and formal histories.

Carl Lavin’s story is a reflection of the experiences of most of the young men and women who were thrust into the horrors of combat in Europe in World War II. Carl Lavin’s papers and recollections cover his reaction to the experiences of military life, from intense combat to the idiocies of military bureaucracy. Frank Lavin’s unfettered access to Carl’s life story adds a richness to the scholarship on World War II.

Frank Lavin is the CEO and founder of the e-commerce firm Export Now. He earned a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service (Georgetown); an M.S. in Chinese Language and History (Georgetown); an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins); and an M.B.A. in Finance at the Wharton School (Pennsylvania). Working for the U.S. Government, Lavin served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore from 2001 to 2005 and as Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2005-2007. Previously, Lavin served in the George H.W. Bush and Reagan Administrations, working in the Department of Commerce, Department of State, National Security Council, and White House. Lavin served as Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs from 1987-89. He is currently a columnist for Forbes.com and has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and other periodicals.

DATE: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Room

For updates and any last-minute changes in “Perspectives” meeting times and places, please check: www.USAHEC.org or call the Information Desk: 717-245-3972.

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2017 Army Heritage Center Foundation Annual Report
News and Events

Click here to view the Army Heritage Center Foundation's 2017 Annual Report.

 

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The Army Heritage Center Foundation Recognized for Transparency
News and Events

The Army Heritage Center Foundation was recently recognized for our transparency with a 2018 Gold Seal on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile! GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. More than 8 million visitors per year and a network of 200+ partners use GuideStar data to grow support for nonprofits. In order to get the 2018 Gold Seal, the Foundation shared important information with the public using our profile on www.guidestar.org. Now our community members and potential donors can find in-depth information about our goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress. We’re shining a spotlight on the difference we help make in the world.

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New Art Exhibit, “Battle Babies,” highlights the story of the 99th Infantry Division during World War II
News and Events

“Battle Babies,” the story of the 99th Infantry Division in World War II is on display in a new art exhibit at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The exhibit features the artwork and story of Robert (Robbie) S. Robison who enlisted in the Army on November 21, 1942 and served in Europe with the 99th Infantry Division as a writer and artist on the division newspaper called the Checkerboard.   Robison's comic strip artwork in the Checkerboard featured the escapades of Private Van Dorn, affectionately known as "Dornie." Utilizing Private Van Dorn, Robison illustrated the story of a new Soldier while using gentle sarcasm and a keen sense of observation of what it was like to grow up as a Soldier in the United States Army.  Using the military exploits of Private Van Dorn, Robison’s humor representing the common place happenings of Soldier life during training and war helped lift the morale of the American troops.

The Checkerboard title referenced the division’s distinctive checkerboard shoulder patch which represented 99th’s lineage in Western Pennsylvania. The patch consisted of a black shield, the black representing Pittsburgh's iron industry, with 9 blue and 9 white squares.  The blue and white were from William Pitt's coat of arms.  Pittsburgh was named for William Pitt in 1758. 

Artist Robison, was trained at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and after the war served as an instructor and later department Chairman of the commercial Art Department at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. 

All of USAHEC’s exhibits are free and open to the public. For more information on the USAHEC or other exhibits, please visit www.usahec.org.

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Tet Offensive 50th Anniversary Highlighted at Army Heritage Days 2018
News and Events

The 1968 Tet Offensive is known as a pivotal campaign of the Vietnam War. During this year’s Army Heritage Days event, on May 19 and 20, 2018 from 9 am to 5 pm, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) will commemorate Tet’s 50th anniversary year with several themed events and lectures scheduled throughout the weekend.

Our first lecture of the weekend takes place on Saturday, May 19th at 12:00 pm and transports visitors to May 1968 with, “Three Battalions in May: A Look at Army Combat Operations during the Communist ‘Mini-Tet’ Offensive." Using a series of interviews with Veterans, Dr. Erik Villard, Digital Military Historian from the Center of Military History, will explore the May Offensive through the experiences of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, at Khe Sanh and Dong Ha; the 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade at Kham Duc; and the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry (Mechanized) at An Bao to show how the successful Allied counteroffensives that followed Tet forced the Communists to change and scale back their plans for the May Offensive in the I Corps and II Corps areas.

The second lecture, presented by Mr. Rick St. John on Sunday, May 20th at 1:00 pm, steps back in time and explores the campaign that took place in January of the same year.  In 1968, Rick St. John was a 23-yr-old 1st Lieutenant and the executive officer of B Company “Tiger Bravo” in the 2nd Battalion (Airborne) of the 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. Committing early on the morning of January 31, 1968 to the Battle of Bien Hoa, Tiger Bravo participated as part of a 300 man reaction force. St. John will present his first hand experiences in a lecture entitled “Tiger Bravo - The Soldiers of B Company, 2/506th in the Tet Offensive." The talk will include details of the Viet Cong’s 5th Division attack of the Bien Hoa/Long Binh Complex, Allied counter measures to defend Bien Hoa Air Base, street fighting in Bien Hoa City, and the aftermath of the fighting, as told through personal accounts of paratroopers and St. John’s extensive research of battlefield documents and journals.

Visitors can further immerse themselves in Tet history as it comes to life in “The U.S. Army Soldier during Tet” living history program at the Vietnam Firebase on the Army Heritage Trail on Sunday, May 20th at 9:30 am. Re-enactors will portray a “boots on the ground” program about the Tet Offensive while outfitted in period gear, giving visitors an idea of the weapons and materials a Soldier would have carried during the offensive and the vehicles they would have used.

As always, Army Heritage Days will cover more than the Vietnam War, and will include portrayals from the Colonial Era to U.S. Army Current Operations by re-enactors stationed along the mile-long Army Heritage Trail. The Tank Obstacle Course will also be returning this year and will feature even more vehicles as drivers test their skills on a custom built course in front of the crowd. For a full schedule and more information, please visit www.usahec.org or call 717-245-3972. Make sure to follow #CountdowntoAHD on our social media pages as more events are announced.

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Army Heritage Center Foundation to Host Army Birthday Commemoration Dinner
News and Events

To celebrate the Army’s 243rd Birthday, the Army Heritage Center Foundation will host Central Pennsylvania’s sixth annual Army Birthday Dinner at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center on June 2, 2018 beginning at 6:00 p.m.  The event allows the region to honor the U.S. Army, its Soldiers, Veterans, and their families.

The highlight of this year’s event includes a swearing in ceremony of new Army volunteers and our guest speaker, General Frederick Franks, Jr., USA Retired. General Franks is the former commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and commanded the VII Corps during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

For years, in major cities across the country, private organizations have celebrated the Army’s birthday.  However, celebrations in Central Pennsylvania have been modest.  “The development of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center provides us a perfect venue to celebrate the Army birthday“ said MG Robert Scales, Chair of the Army Heritage Center Foundation.  “We hope that for a large turnout since the Army War College is still in session, and the presence of a large local retiree population and many Soldiers currently serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Army Reserves.  We also hope for a good turnout from our local communities for this event which highlights the Army’s service to the Nation.”

Event Sponsors include BAE Systems, M&T Bank, F&M Trust, and Gannett Fleming.

For detailed information about the dinner, event sponsorship opportunities, or to RSVP, please contact the Foundation Offices at (717) 258-1102 or info@armyheritage.org. 

 

About the Foundation and U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center 

The Military Heritage Foundation, doing business as the Army Heritage Center Foundation, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that, through donated support, is funding the construction of the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) — the Visitor and Education Center (VEC) and the Army Heritage Center.  As the phased construction program is completed, the Foundation transfers these facilities to the Army to operate, staff, and maintain, as part of USAHEC. The Foundation will then focus on “margin of excellence support” to meet the needs of educational programs and other activities at USAHEC where federal funds are inadequate or unavailable. 

The Foundation completed Phase One of the Visitor and Education Center in 2010.   This project provided the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus its first major gallery and multipurpose rooms to host educational programs and special events. In 2013, the Foundation funded infrastructure improvements to include parking and storm water management systems to support future construction.  The Foundation completed a 7,500 expansion of the Visitor and Education Center in September 2016 now known as the Hall of the American Soldier, which added a new gallery, a multipurpose room to meet growing demand for program space, and enhanced seating for the cafe.

The Foundation will continue to seek grants and donations to complete the Visitor and Education Center and the Army Heritage Center and to create an endowment to sustain and enhance educational programs. The Foundation’s education program includes management of the National History Day in Pennsylvania competition and workshops and seminars that complement USAHEC’s programs and exhibits. 

The Foundation also supports and enhances USAHEC’s public outreach by supporting marketing initiatives and serving as a public advocate of the Center’s mission and programs. 

USAHEC is dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served this nation as Soldiers and preserving their legacy through the acquisition of their letters, diaries, photos, and artifacts that document their service.  USAHEC also educates a broad audience on the heritage of the Army by making its collections available to the public in the Ridgway Hall research room, through exhibits on the USAHEC campus, and through special programs.   A Smithsonian Affiliate, USAHEC is a component of the Army War College.  Since 2004 when the facility opened to the public, more than 1.5 million have visited.  Learn more about USAHEC at www.usahec.org.

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Foundation Sponsored Normandy Battlefield Tours
News and Events

The Army Heritage Center Foundation is sponsoring tours of the Normandy Battlefield and D-Day Beaches in 2018.  

The experiences of the Soldiers who fought in Normandy during the Summer of 1944, especially those who landed on the D-Day beaches, hold a special place for many.

On this tour, you will visit the significant beaches, the battle sites, and cemeteries You will be based in Bayeux and your schedule will give you time to explore this fascinating region. On the final day, you will return to Paris with time to explore “The City of Lights.” Your tour group will be small and led by an experience historian who knows the diverse Normandy landscape and the events.

For more information, please click here.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Foundation at info@armyheritage.org or (717) 258-1102.

A partnership between the Army Heritage Center Foundation and NW European Study Tours (https://nw-europe.com).

 

 

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Army Heritage Center Foundation to Host Pennsylvania Premiere of “Weight of Honor”
News and Events

The Army Heritage Center Foundation will host a screening of the documentary The Weight of Honor on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle.  Lieutenant Colonel David and Mrs. Kim Rozelle will serve as moderators and lead a panel discussion immediately following this one hour documentary.

 

This free event is co-sponsored by the Army Heritage Center Foundation and Carlisle Barracks Chapel and is open to the public and the media.

 

The Weight of Honor follows the lives of the caregivers of catastrophically wounded Veterans injured while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Filmed over five years, this documentary reveals the thoughts and struggles of the spouses, children, and parents now tasked with caring for once able-bodied and self-assured sons, daughters, wives, and husbands. 

 

The Weight of Honor is the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the lives of the caregivers and families of Veterans who have been catastrophically wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The film’s subjects are the spouses, parents, and children who give a rare glimpse into their lives, as everyone grapples with finding a ‘new normal’ after the devastating effects of war time injuries.

 

Stephanie Seldin Howard, the film’s director said, “For the last five years, I've been filming and crafting the story of the devastating effects that caring for a severely wounded veteran can have on caregivers, families, and relationships.  The film was made to challenge conventional notions of caregivers and to ignite change.”  Film critic Hal Donahue said The Weight of Honor is “A brutally honest film of courage and loyalty above and beyond the call of duty.”

 

LTC Rozelle is the author of Back to Action: An American Soldier¹s Story of Courage, Faith, and Fortitude. In Back to Action, Rozelle tells the story of his deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom, where a land mine tore off his right foot, through months of agonizing rehabilitation to his final triumphant recertification as "Fit for Duty."

 

Also highlighting the panel will be Ryan and Nancy Kules. Ryan serves as the national Combat Stress Recovery Program Director for the Wounded Warrior Project. He is a multiple amputee and a retired Army Captain. They have three children. Nancy has been his caregiver, and their experiences have been shared and documented in the national media.

 

The panel will also include the documentary director, Stephanie Seldin Howard, and Chaplain (Colonel) Jerry and Mrs. Karlyn Sieg. The Siegs will share their challenges during Jerry’s post recovery from a brain tumor and then cancer. Chaplain Seig served with the Third Infantry Division during the initial assault on Bagdad.

About the Army Heritage Center Foundation

The Military Heritage Foundation, doing business as the Army Heritage Center Foundation, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that, through donated support, is funding the construction of the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) — the Visitor and Education Center (VEC) and the Army Heritage Center.  As the phased construction program is completed, the Foundation transfers these facilities to the Army to operate, staff, and maintain, as part of USAHEC. The Foundation also focuses on “margin of excellence support” to meet the needs of educational programs and other activities at USAHEC where federal funds are inadequate or unavailable. 

The Foundation completed Phase One of the Visitor and Education Center in 2010.   This project provided the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus its first major gallery and multipurpose rooms to host educational programs and special events. In 2013, the Foundation funded infrastructure improvements to include parking and storm water management systems to support future construction.  The Foundation completed a 7,500 expansion of the Visitor and Education Center in September 2016. Known as the Hall of the American Soldier, this expansion added an additional gallery, a multipurpose room to meet growing demand for program space, and enhanced seating for the cafe.

The Foundation will continue to seek grants and donations to complete the Visitor and Education Center, the Army Heritage Center, and to create an endowment to sustain and enhance educational programs. The Foundation’s education program includes management of the National History Day in Pennsylvania competition and workshops and seminars that complement USAHEC’s programs and exhibits. 

The Foundation also supports and enhances USAHEC’s public outreach by supporting marketing initiatives and serving as a public advocate of the Center’s mission and programs. 

For additional details about this program, please contact the Foundation at (717) 258-1102 or info@armyheritage.org.

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7th Annual Reenactor Recruitment Day at USAHEC is Bigger than Ever – Free and Open to the Public!
News and Events

Reenactor Recruitment Day is back at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) for the 7th year running and will be bigger than ever before! Bring your family and friends to the USAHEC in Carlisle, Pennsylvania to experience military reenacting and living history up close and personal during Reenactor Recruitment Day on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM in the USAHEC Visitor and Education Center. This free event is open to the public and is an annual favorite. This year, we have expanded the indoor display area to include even more reenactors from more eras! The event will feature dozens of different living history organizations and over four hundred reenactors from all periods of U.S. Army and world military history. Reenactor Recruitment Day is not only a great outing for kids and history aficionados alike, it also serves as an opportunity for reenactors to meet with members of other living history organizations, and to discuss living history with professional historians.

Reenactor Recruitment Day will feature hundreds of living historians representing militaries spanning from pike and swordsman to Civil War Cavalry. We will also feature adversary units, allied units, and highlight the doughboys from World War I. Each reenactor will be in period dress and have a table display, where they will be available to answer any questions, introduce their equipment and materials, discuss their upcoming activities, and highlight the importance of reenacting as a way to keep history alive. Come to the USAHEC to experience history, live!

The 7th Annual Reenactor Recruitment Day is free and open to the public, including children of all ages. Our exhibit galleries, including The Soldier Experience, and “Goodbye Broadway, Hello France,” will be open, as well as the Museum Store and Café Cumberland. Additionally, Café Cumberland will feature tasty lunch specials for this event. For more information, including directions and the event flyer, please visit the USAHEC website: www.USAHEC.org. For questions, please call: 717-245-3972.

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The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam
News and Events

If the highest ranks of the U.S. Military and diplomatic corps had listened to, and took stock in, Major General Edward Lansdale, the outcome of the Vietnam War may have been quite different. As a young officer after the carnage of World War II, Major Edward Lansdale started his epic, and sometimes ignominious, career working with the Philippine Army to rebuild their intelligence services, learning the complicated ins-and-outs of psychological operations. His experience in the Philippines, combined with his fast-track rise through the ranks of the U.S. Air Force, led to his participation in every facet of the diplomatic, military, and civil aspects of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania will host New York Times best-selling author Max Boot to discuss his recent biography, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam. The presentation will explore how Lansdale used his experience in the Philippines to spearhead a “hearts and minds” approach to diplomacy in Vietnam.

Mr. Boot’s lecture and book utilize numerous new sources never before used by authors writing about the Vietnam War. He conducted and uncovered dozens of interviews, gained access to previously unknown documents, and even found long-lost love letters to bring together a new look at the dramatic rise and fall of Major General Edward Lansdale. The story casts a new light on the traditional tale of American involvement in the Vietnam War.

Mr. Max Boot is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. A military historian and foreign policy analyst, he has been called one of “the world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Mr. Boot is a New York Times best-selling author, a contributing editor to numerous respected publications, and is extremely influential in the foreign policy decision making at the highest levels of the U.S. government. Mr. Boot holds a master’s degree in history from Yale University (1992) and a bachelor’s degree in history, with high honors, from the University of California, Berkeley (1991).

DATE: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM, and the talk begins at 7:15 PM. The question period concludes around 8:30 PM. PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Rooms

For more information and any last-minute changes in meeting times/places, please check the USAHEC website: www.USAHEC.org or call the Information Desk: 717-245-3972.

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Horse Cavalry Tradition Returns to Carlisle Barracks
News and Events

The Army Heritage Center Foundation (AHCF) is pleased to announce that the United States Cavalry Memorial Foundation (USCMF) has provided a $500,000 grant to preserve and promote the legacy of our Nation’s horse mounted Soldiers.  Mr. Jim Ottevaere, President of USCMF, presented the check to Mr. Joe Capita, Secretary of AHCF, at a ceremony at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center on Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania on December 12, 2017. 

“With funds provided by former horse Soldiers, who have all now passed away, the U.S. Cavalry Memorial Foundation has, since 1993, worked to promote the remembrance and recognition of United States Cavalry troopers and authorized mounted units that have served the United States from 1775 through the present day” said Jim Ottevaere, USCMF President.  He then continued “that today, we pass that responsibility to the Army Heritage Center Foundation who in conjunction with the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, is well positioned to preserve and promote the contribution of our horse mounted units and Soldiers.”    

Joe Capita acknowledged how the Foundation with this gift “is proud to pledge to preserve the legacy of our horse cavalry Soldiers and effectively steward their donated resources.”  He also indicated that this grant was special in two other ways.  December 12, 2017 is the 201st anniversary of the Continental Congress’ decision to authorize our Nation’s first cavalry regiment and that the first home of the U.S. Army’s School for Cavalry Practice was established on Carlisle Barracks in 1838.

The Army Heritage Center Foundation expects to award the first grants funded with this donation in 2019.

About the United States Horse Cavalry Foundation 

The U.S. Cavalry Memorial Foundation was established in 1993.  Since then, the Foundation and its members have worked to promote the remembrance and recognition of individual United States Cavalry troopers and authorized mounted units that serve and have served in regular United States military forces, United States Militia elements, and Irregular Mounted Forces from 1775 through the present day.  The Foundation is currently in the process of dissolution.

About the Army Heritage Center Foundation

 The Military Heritage Foundation, doing business as the Army Heritage Center Foundation, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that, through donated support, is funding the construction of the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) — the Visitor and Education Center (VEC) and the Army Heritage Center.  As the phased construction program is completed, the Foundation transfers these facilities to the Army to operate, staff, and maintain, as part of USAHEC. The Foundation also focuses on “margin of excellence support” to meet the needs of educational programs and other activities at USAHEC where federal funds are inadequate or unavailable. 

The Foundation completed Phase One of the Visitor and Education Center in 2010.   This project provided the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus its first major gallery and multipurpose rooms to host educational programs and special events. In 2013, the Foundation funded infrastructure improvements to include parking and storm water management systems to support future construction.  The Foundation completed a 7,500 expansion of the Visitor and Education Center in September 2016. Known as the Hall of the American Soldier, this expansion added an additional gallery, a multipurpose room to meet growing demand for program space, and enhanced seating for the cafe.

The Foundation will continue to seek grants and donations to complete the Visitor and Education Center, the Army Heritage Center, and to create an endowment to sustain and enhance educational programs. The Foundation’s education program includes management of the National History Day in Pennsylvania competition and workshops and seminars that complement USAHEC’s programs and exhibits. 

The Foundation also supports and enhances USAHEC’s public outreach by supporting marketing initiatives and serving as a public advocate of the Center’s mission and programs. 

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Veterans' Cafe on January 27, 2018 at Aldersgate Church, Mechanicsburg, PA
News and Events

VETERANS OF ALL SERVICES AND ERAS, and their SPOUSES, FAMILY, and FRIENDS are invited to all Veterans' Cafe events, where we provide opportunites for Veterans to meet and share their stories.  The Veterans' Cafe is part of the Army Heritage Center Foundation's efforts to honor veterans, preserve their stories, and educate the public about their service.  All Veterans' Cafe events are open to the public unless otherwise noted.  There is no charge to attend.  The cost of the meal, if any, is listed with each event.

 To RSVP for an event or if you would like to help sponsor an event, please call or email Jeff Hawks at 717-258-1102 orvetcafe@armyheritage.org.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, January 27, 2018 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM -  Aldersgate Church, 1480 Jerusalem Road, Mechanicsburg, PA

We are pleased to thank our sponsors, Hoffman Funeral Home & Crematory and Humana who help make the Veterans' Cafe possible.



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Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam
News and Events

In 1972, as the Paris Peace Accords drew to a conclusion, young William Reeder, Jr. was a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to an AH-1G Cobra Attack Helicopter in Vietnam. For many U.S. servicemen and women, the Vietnam War was over. Reeder was afraid he missed the opportunity to see combat as a Cobra gunship pilot. The North Vietnamese had other plans, however, and the Easter Offensive changed Reeder’s life forever. On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Dr. William S. Reeder will present a lecture at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, describing how fighting in the spring of 1972 led to his capture while defending the American base at Ben Het in Vietnam and how he survived the horrifying ordeal of being a POW in Vietnam.

Dr. William Reeder was the last U.S. Army prisoner captured in the Vietnam War, and his story is one of courage, hope, and survival. In 1971, Reeder was already an accomplished pilot, having flown secret missions deep into enemy territory on his first tour. He returned as a helicopter pilot flying a Cobra Attack Helicopter but believed the Americans had beaten the Viet Cong and were passing everything to the South Vietnamese Army. As the 1972 Easter Offensive raged several months into his second tour, he was providing support to forces at the besieged base of Ben Het, when his chopper went down in a flaming corkscrew. Reeder survived the crash and evaded the enemy for three days, before finally being captured and held in jungle cages for weeks. After which, he endured a grueling forced march on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, costing the lives of seven of the POWs in his small group of twenty-seven.

Dr. William Reeder is a training and leader development consultant living in the Pacific Northwest. He spends parts of each year teaching at the NATO SOF School at Chievres Air Base, Belgium. He is a retired colonel and a thirty-year Army veteran, with two tours of duty in Vietnam. He has in excess of three thousand hours of flight time, including more than one thousand hours in combat. He is the recipient of the Silver Star for gallantry, two Distinguished Flying Crosses for heroism, and three Bronze Star Medals. In 1977, he was named Army Aviator of the Year and was inducted into the U.S. Army Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2017, he was chosen as the Naval Institute’s “Author of the Year.”

DATE: Wednesday, November 15, 2017

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Room

 

For updates and any last-minute changes in “Perspectives” meeting times and places, please check: www.USAHEC.org or call the Information Desk: (717) 245-3972.

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U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center Proud to Host Red Blanket Native Pride Dancers in Celebration of Native American Heritage Month
News and Events

The United States Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, welcomes you and your family to feel the beat of the drums, enjoy the dancing, and take part in our annual celebration of Native American Heritage Month, with the Red Blanket Native Pride Dancers on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 7:00PM. The dancers will perform a wide array of ceremonial and social dancing techniques passed down through their culture for generations. The demonstration will include authentic dress, freestyle movements, and intense music, accompanied by vocals and flutes from the Northern Plains to complete the performance. Throughout Native American history, dancing has always represented a major tenant of the culture, and such an opportunity to view traditional dance forms allows for a more complete understanding of Native American customs and heritage.

The Red Blanket Native Pride Dancers’ mission is to “educate, inspire, motivate, and empower diverse communities to bridge cultural gaps through indigenous traditions.” Like many other native groups, they are “passionately devoted to keeping traditions alive” through music and dance.

DATE: Thursday, November 9, 2017

TIME: The doors open at 6:30 PM, and the event begins at 7:00 PM. The event concludes around 8:30 PM.

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Room

For updates and any last-minute changes, please check the USAHEC website: www.USAHEC.org or call the Information Desk: (717) 245-3972.

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Veterans Day Event to Take Place in World War I Trenches at USAHEC!
News and Events

At 11:00 am on November 11th, 1918, the First World War, one of the most devastating and tragic conflicts the world has ever seen, came to a conclusion. Early on that November morning, senior military and political officials of both the Allied and German armies met in the Compiègne Forest of northern France to finalize and sign the armistice that would bring peace to war torn Europe. Since that time, countries across the world have chosen November 11th to honor those Soldiers who died in the “war to end all wars.” In the case of the United States, we have grown the purpose to honor all of those who serve in the Armed Forces, past and present, by renaming it Veterans Day.

In recognition of the World War I Centennial, and to honor all those who have served and are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) will be hosting a living history event entitled “Remembering Armistice Day” on Veterans Day weekend, November 11th and 12th, 2017. The event will commence at 10:00am and run until 3:00pm and will be located at the World War I Allied and German trenches on USAHEC’s Army Heritage Trail. Among the day’s highlights include reenactors who will be illustrating the events as they unfolded for the 316th Infantry Regiment, AEF in the hours leading up to and the day following the Compiègne Armistice. Visitors are invited to come witness the life of an American Doughboy in the trenches and the end of the war for the 316th. The event will follow the unit’s daily wartime routine – patrolling, caring for those in the Aid Station, cooking for the troops, and maintaining the supply line to the front – and will then recognize the end of the war at 11:00 am on Saturday. Visitors are welcome to attend at any time during event hours.

Following the end of World War I, November 11th became a national day of mourning and remembrance in many of the nations whose Soldiers had served in the war, including the United States; however, in 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the holiday to Veterans Day “in order that a grateful nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation.” A day of honor and remembrance, November 11th continues to be an important reminder of the sacrifices made by our Veterans.

The day’s events are open to the public and free to attend. As always, USAHEC exhibits, including the Soldier Experience Gallery and the new World War I exhibit, “‘Good-Bye Broadway, Hello France’ – America in the Era of World War,” both located in the Visitor and Education Center, are open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. For directions to USAHEC, general information, or question about the event, please visit: www.USAHEC.org or call: 717-245-3972.

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The Custer Conundrum: Exploring Leadership and the Contradictory Life of George Armstrong Custer with T.J. Stiles
News and Events

Perspectives in Military History

 

General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley Memorial Lecture

 

The Custer Conundrum

Exploring Leadership and the Contradictory Life of George Armstrong Custer 

T.J. Stiles

Pulitzer Prize Winner for Autobiography and History

 

George Armstrong Custer proved himself a highly capable commander from the battlefields of the American Civil War, through the hills of Texas, to his final moments on the Great Plains. On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) will host Mr. T.J. Stiles, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, as he presents a lecture entitled, “The Custer Conundrum.” The lecture will examine the complicated nature of leadership principals in the U.S. Army through the lens of the peculiar combination of Custer's skills as a combat leader and failings as a regimental field commander. 

Brevet Major General of U.S. Volunteers during the Civil War and later, a Lieutenant Colonel in the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, George A. Custer was a highly skilled tactician and inspiring figure in battle, but failed to manage his men well in non-kinetic settings, whether in Texas in 1865–66 or on the Great Plains over the next decade. He also developed a problematic reputation within the Army that complicated his relationship with his superiors, who often assumed the worst about him. Custer’s career sheds light on the U.S. Army itself, and its role in the transitional time during the push west across the continent in the Post-Civil War years. The Army represented the leading edge of modernization in the United States, introducing finely articulated organization, professionalization, and technical expertise into an individualistic country that was transforming into a corporate, organizational economy and society. Custer was both a highly trained professional—a technical expert—and a romantic individualist; his volatile nature emphasizes the broader themes of this transition. His self-destructive tendencies lead to a story, which highlights the peculiar demands the Army faced in conflict with Native peoples on the Great Plains.

Mr. Stiles is an award-winning author and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2010 and for history in 2016. He graduated from Carleton College with distinction in history and received his Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees from Columbia University. He worked alongside top American historians at Oxford University Press, before starting his extensive writing career publishing, Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America.

 

DATE: October 18, 2017

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Rooms

 

For updates and any last minute changes in meeting times/places, please check the USAHEC website: www.USAHEC.org or call the Information Desk: 717-245-3972.

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“Recovering Sacred Ground for All Generations” An Evening of Conversation based on Burns and Novick’s The Vietnam War
News and Events

On October 3 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the Army Heritage Center Foundation, in conjunction with the U.S. Army War College Memorial Chapel and Stephen Ministry, will present a renowned panel of veterans who will share their war experiences and lessons learned from the Burns and Novick series, The Vietnam War.  The program will provide an opportunity for the audience to share and reflect on their own experience and help facilitate continued dialogue concerning the impact of war on their lives.

After the panel and discussions, COL (Retired) Neal Delasanti, Director, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Cumberland County, PA, will be available for brief consultations.

The distinguished panel will include:

COL (Retired) Dr. Don Snider – Served three combat tours as an infantry officer in Vietnam, decorated for both valor and wounds. He is a distinguished faculty member of the U.S. Army War College and Professor Emeritus from the United States Military Academy. He has authored numerous publications on leadership, ethics, and the moral development of leaders. Dr. Snider retired in October 2016 after 53 years of service within the Department of Defense and continues today in adjunct status.

COL (Retired) Tony Nadal – Served two tours in Vietnam. He was engaged in heavy infantry combat in the Ia Drang Valley, the Bong Son plain, and in Kontum Province. He served as Commanding Officer of A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry during the battle of the la Drang Valley. Harold Moore and Joseph Galloway documented the Battle of the la Drang Valley in their book We Were Soldiers Once … And Young. Prior to retirement from the military, COL Nadal served on the faculty of the U.S. Army War College.

COL David Benedek – Professor of Psychiatry and Chairman of the Uniformed Services University's Department of Psychiatry. He is also an Associate Director of the University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.  He has authored or co-authored over 75 scientific publications and has presented on numerous aspects of military, disaster, and forensic psychiatry at regional, national, and international professional conferences. In addition to his operational experience in Bosnia and Croatia, Dr. Benedek has deployed to Cuba, Iraq, and Kuwait in conjunction with the Global War on Terrorism. He is co-editor of the recently published Clinical Manual for Management of PTSD.

LTC (Retired) Dr. Douglas Johnson – Served two combat tours in Vietnam as an artillery officer. He was with the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College from 1985 until 2009. His 30 years of service in the U.S. Army included two combat tours, a variety of troop and staff assignments, and instructor duty at the U.S. Military Academy and the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and holds a diploma from the U.S. Army War College.

The evening’s discussion will be moderated by Chaplain (COL) Jerry Sieg, Carlisle Barracks’ Installation Chaplain.

The evening is meant to be interactive. Reflections and comments by the audience will be encouraged. Members of the panel feel that it is important for combat veterans to “tell their story”. This can provide continued understanding of their war experiences as part of a healing process.

 

 

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A Pennsylvania Soldier in World War I
News and Events

Millions of Americans answered the call of duty when the United States entered World War I and nineteen year-old Howard Munder of Philadelphia was among them.  Enlisting just ten days after the declaration of war, Munder soon found himself on his way to Camp Hancock, Georgia, to join the newly formed 28th Infantry Division.  When the division deployed to France as part of the American Expeditionary Forces, Bugler Munder went with them.

Munder was a prolific letter writer and typically sent home several letters a week.  His collected and transcribed letters now reside in the archival collections at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA.

Starting on September 15, the Army Heritage Center Foundation began publishing Munder’s letters online on the 100th anniversary of the day each letter was written.  This mode of publication was conceived by the Foundation’s Education Director, Jeff Hawks.

“When you pick up a published collection of letters,” Hawks says, “you have the entire story right there, all at once.  That’s not how the families experienced the story.  100 years ago, families did not know when the next letter from their loved ones would arrive.  They had to wait, sometimes patiently, sometimes anxiously, checking the mail every day, not knowing when the next letter would come.  The technology of online publishing gives us the opportunity to re-create, in some respect, that experience.  Our hope is that our readers will start to follow Munder as his story unfolds in real-time, albeit 100 years after the fact.”

Hawks refuses to answer questions about Munder’s ultimate fate.  “His parents didn’t know what was going to happen.  Anyone who wants to know is going to have to read along and find out in the same timeframe they did.”

During World War I, about two million Americans shipped out for France.  53,402 died or went missing in combat, 63,306 died from other causes, and 204,002 were wounded or injured, a casualty rate of about 16%.  Hawks notes that these casualties include 3 Army Nurses wounded by shellfire and 272 Army Nurses who died of various diseases that were rampant in the war zone.

 

To read the letters as they are published, visit the Army Heritage Center Foundation’s website at https://www.armyheritage.org/2-site-content/578-howard-munder-over-there-with-the-28th-infantry-division.

 

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