March 2010

In 2008 Chapter 685 was granted the honor and privilege of presenting our Chapter print, "On behalf of a grateful nation, drawn by our Associate member Roland Castanie to the gold star families of the 1st Cav Division as the Division dedicated their memorial wall at Ft. Hood, Texas. See report at . We were granted that honor and privilege again this year as the Division added the names from their last deployment to the Memorial Wall and honored their gold star families. We were joined by members of Chapter 1000 and Buster Newberry, VVA State council President, Don Kennedy, State council Vice-President, and Jim Boyd, State council Secretary. We presented the print on their behalf and they represented the Texas State Council at the event. The Artist of the print, Roland Castanie attended and signed all of the prints for the Gold Star Families. The Loving care that Roland has extended to the Gold Star Families of our Nation's hero's and the job that he has done for the 1st Cav Division defies description so I won't try. Suffice it to say that it has gone above and beyond. LTC Tim Karcher was present at the ceremony. He is the former Battalion Commander for the 2/5 Cav and lost his legs in Iraq. Roland presented him with some special drawings that he had done and I presented him with a cane made by a member of our chapter, Jim Rice. He and his woodworking group make special eagle head canes for Disabled Veterans. LTC Karcher is one of the strongest individuals that I have ever met and is an inspiration to everyone that meets him. God Bless Him.
Just a few comments on the 1st Cav Division. My wife, Marilyn, is just as impressed with the division as I am. I asked one of the escort troopers for a Gold Star Family how he was picked for the duty. He told me that he had volunteered. I asked him if he had ever learned not to volunteer in the Army and he told me yes but he would always volunteer for ice cream and this. The Sprit-de-corps that I have seen in the Cav is beyond any that I saw while I was in the Military. A day spent with the 1st Calvary Division will dispel any negative feelings that one may have about the future of our Nation.
One last thing. While I was thanking the Gold Star families for their sacrifices as they picked up their prints a young wife came up came up to pick up her's and she had two small children with her. One of those young children came to attention and rendered me a salute. The emotions that I got while returning that salute will forever be with me. 
My thanks and those of my chapter are extended to those who attended and helped with this event and to those who have given us a platform that allows us to do this.
Jim Rose, President
Galveston County Chapter 685
Vietnam Veterans of America