The 1st Cavalry Division Association Southeastern Colorado Chapter held its monthly meeting on Nov. 5 in La Junta. Members were informed that in commemoration of the ongoing legacy of the 1st Cavalry Division, the Association is sponsoring a new book, “History of the 1st Cavalry Division and Its Veterans.” The book will provide a detailed history of the 1st Cavalry Division and feature biographical narratives of the men and women who have served our country since 1921. The book includes a detailed history of the 1st Cavalry Division from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the War on Terror. Chapter members were encouraged to send in their personal biographies, historical photos and general interest stories to help document the rich legacy of the 1st Cavalry Division. Acclaim Press has been commissioned to oversee this landmark project.
Chapter President Gregorio Trujillo attended the 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiments reunion in Colorado Springs. That was the Regiment he served with when he was in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division. He had not seen some of the soldiers he served with since 1968. One of his close friends he keeps in touch with at the reunions is James Michael Sprayberry. Both fought in the A Shau Valley in April 1968. Sprayberry was the recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions and Trujillo the Silver Star.
November meetings are a somber occasion for the chapter members. Nov. 17 will be 51 years ago that Jesus Garcia of Las Animas, fought in the bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War at the Ia Drang Valley at LZ Albany. More than 150 1st Cavalry Division soldiers were killed and more that 120 were wounded in the 16-hour battle. Garcia was one of the survivors. He was with Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.
Every November we remember the proud veterans who joined the Southeastern Colorado who have passed away, CP Jerry Bryant and Loyde Gardner from Las Animas, Dan Moore from Rocky Ford, Jimmy Vickers from Fowler, Kenneth Pearson from La Junta, David Reece and Robert Whitehead from Pueblo.
Some of the members attended the Veterans Day Ceremony at Las Animas. The last meeting of the year will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Holliday Inn Express in La Junta.