We presented our "On Behalf of a Grateful Nation" prints to the gold star families of the 1st Cav Division at Ft Hood Texas on May 16, 2008. We gave out about 800 Prints.
 
Hello Brothers and Sisters. The following is an example of how the participation in one event can cascade into a series of wonderful events. We presented a set of our prints to Texas A&M university where we met LTC (ret) Stacy Overby who gave us an introduction to COL Kurt Pinkerton who is the G-3 of the 1st Cav Division at Ft. Hood. COL Pinkerton is the former BN Commander of the 2nd of the 5th Cav before being promoted into the G-3 Position. He invited us to present our prints to the Gold Star Families of the 2nd of the 5th at their luncheon on the 16th of May. Later he invited us to present our print to the entire Division's Gold Star Families that were going to be present for their new Memorial Dedication. Up to 600 families had RSVP'ed. Some of the pictures on here are of their new Memorial and it is Beautiful and very fitting to honor their troopers who have paid the ultimate price in the war on Terror. We invited Members of the Killeen Chapter to participate with us. Three members of our chapter and three of our Associate members attended. Two members of the Killeen chapter and one of their Associate members attended. Roland Castanie, associate member and artist of the Prints, attended the event and signed all of the prints presented to these special families. The Cav had a table set up for us and we were unable to get Roland to take a break. He was amazing. My fingers started hurting just looking at him sign so many prints. He also talked to all of the families and I thanked them for the sacrifices their sacrifices as did all of the members of the VVA and Associates. I could see the thanks in their eyes but more important I could see in those same eyes the thanks that they had for the way that the 1st Cav Division had treated them and for the beautiful Memorial that had been made for their loved one. A Trooper from the Cav had been assigned to each family to attend to their every need. I had the feeling that there was nothing that they could ask for that wouldn't be provided. It was an unbelievable feeling. One of the most emotional moments for all of us was when one of the gold star mothers walked up with a photograph of each of her two sons that she had lost in the war on terror. Mere words are not adequate enough to explain the depth of the sacrifices that this wonderful Mother has made or any of them for that matter.
 
The ceremony was great. The 1st Cav Division had ALL of their T's Crossed and ALL of their i's Dotted. The cascade effect continued. The Cav is going to be redeployed soon and we were introduced to the Rear Commander by COL Pinkerton because they have a purple heart ceremony each month at Ft. Hood while they are deployed.  Don Kennedy of the Killeen Chapter was introduced to them as well and their chapter is considering attending these ceremonies and presenting the prints. COL Pinkerton has told me that he has friends who command Brigades across the country and may speak to them about our prints for their Gold Star Families. While we were there I had the pleasure of talking to the President of the 1st Cav Association who had a large part in building the Memorial and he informed me that he lived near Ft Bragg, N.C. and had many friends there that would be interested in the prints. The former commanding General of the 1st Cav gave the speech at the ceremony and is now the 8th Army Commanding General and I got a chance to present one of the prints for his HQ's and he is interested. The cascading effect goes on.
 
We attended the 2nd of the 5th Cav's luncheon and Roland Castanie again signed the prints and went above and beyond by presenting some special drawings that he had made. Also he had remarked some of the prints with the Cav patch and 2/5 cav insignia to present to them for their HQ. He also remarked one with the Cav patch, Campaign ribbon, and Purple heart medal for their Memorial center and one with the Cav patch and campaign ribbon for their Memorial information center for future Gold Star families coming to Fort Hood .
 
I have someone that I need to mention. His name is Major Clements and while COL Pinkerton was busy planning this event the Major showed us around and helped us get our bearings. He is an outstanding young officer, and needed to be, to put up with us.
 
Also Roland Castanie. I hope that he iced down his hand before it swelled up. He is amazing and it is a blessing to have him Associated with us.  
 
Some of these pictures are of the vehicles and weapons at the 1st Cav museum and if you are ever close to Hood it is worth stopping by to look at.
 
I have been struck by something ever since we started meeting these families while presenting the print. We honor our fallen on Memorial Day, our Veterans on Veterans Day, Our Flag on Flag day, and our Presidents on Presidents Day. These days have been set aside by the American people and Congress. It is beyond time that we should consider fighting to get a Special Day set aside to honor these wonderful people who given their most cherished for our freedoms and have loved and stood by their husbands, wives, sons, Daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles throughout the history of this countries Military and have asked for nothing except the right to do so.
 
When you pray or have a moment of silence before any of your meetings for the missing and fallen I ask that you include their families and loved ones.
 
Thank You, 
 
Jim Rose, President
Galveston County Chapter 685
Vietnam Veterans of America  

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