for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
It was a lively meeting this past Thursday evening. Current events like
the government shutdown came up in discussion with its impact on WWII
veterans on the Honor Flight program visiting our Nation’s Capital.
Most of us saw on television those men who stormed the beaches of
Normandy turn a smile at the barricades placed by the current regime to
block the entire purpose of their visit, to honor the their sacrifices
and the brave brothers who paid the ultimate sacrifice to destroy
Nazism, the ultimate in government control at the time. This current
leadership generation has no concept of this sacrifice and were put in
their place when those old soldiers dismantled those barricades so ill
advised to be placed to begin with. I normally do not use my offerings
to take a position on the current political environment but when our
veterans are kept in such low regard and our Post is of one mind we
will speak without party or agenda in mind.
In light of this posting I was delighted to see and talk with John
Fields about his recent Honor Flight experience. He stated that, as
with his predecessors Dick Pope and Babe Long, the trip was
professional, respectful, and flawlessly executed. We expect the same
follow on of commemorative items including a CD with pictures of that
momentous day. Hat’s off to his wonderful daughter who helped make this
In past years our Post has been invited to and participated in one of
the better Veteran’s Day Parades in the region.
This year will be no different. This is more than a parade. Veteran’s
will be treated a free breakfast Woodland High School (at the school),
and free dinner for veterans and their families at the Senior
Citizens/Fairfax Veteran’s Building at the south west end of town. In
between there will be tournaments, prizes and ribbons for the best
floats. The parade will begin Saturday November 9th at 11:00 AM with
line up at 10:00 AM near the Baptist Church on South Main Street. Plan
on being there to cheer our local heroes.
We had a few special things pop up at our first Thursday evening
meeting for October. Our Post Commander shared some moments from his
trip to OKC last weekend for the 45th Infantry Division Reunion.
The 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (“Thunderbird”) is a modular
infantry brigade combat team of the United States Army headquartered in
Norman, Oklahoma. It is a part of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
Formed from elements of the disbanded 45th Infantry Division which saw
action during World War II and the Korean War, along with the 45th
Field Artillery Group (today’s 45th Fires Brigade) and 90th Troop
Command, the 45th Infantry Brigade was activated in 1968 and assigned
to training duties for active duty army units until 1994 when the 45th
was selected as one of 15 “enhanced brigades”. In 2003 A Co 1-179
deployed to Saudi Arabia while B 1-179 deployed to Kuwait to provide
security for Patriot missile sites.
During the invasion of Iraq, B Co 1-179 pushed North of Baghdad
establishing a foothold in Taji Iraq.
Later that year, the 45th deployed to Afghanistan to train soldiers of
the Afghan National Army which was followed by a deployment to Iraq to
assist in the turning over of American military bases to Iraqi forces.
A second brigade deployment to Afghanistan in 2011 assigned the brigade
to full-spectrum operations for the first time since the 1950s.
The brigade received all heraldry, lineage and honors from the 45th
Infantry Division, including its shoulder sleeve insignia and campaign
streamers for combat in World War II and Korea. It has since received
several of its own decorations for participation in the subsequent
conflicts. (Thanks to Wikipedia). With this rich heritage Commander
O’Leary presented Unit patches and memorabilia to two our members Eli
Prater (Adjutant) and Jack Cross (Finance Officer) with a 45th service
history. If you did not know one of Hominy’s treasured historical facts
is that a substantial 45th presence existed at the old Armory for
generations. That will make an interesting investigative story…later.
So here is a teaser for next week. Babo Carter (Service Officer) showed
up with some very old army units in formal group original photos from
1918 and 1941. These were found by his wife’s relative in a Hominy
home. Your humble correspondent is hot on the trail of investigation
and will report findings soon.
Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays (next 17 Oct 13) of
each month at 1900 hours (7:00 PM). This coming meeting on Thursday
evening will showcase beans, ham, Mexican and regular cornbread plus
all the fixins starting 6:00 PM with the formal meeting at 7:00PM (1800
and 1900 hours). Our Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings are run by
Post Adjutant Eli Prater and Jerry Sebert. Over biscuits and gravy (or
waffles) we will keep up on each other’s mischievous doings. It runs
generally from 7 am to 9 am. If you are a veteran come join us. And if
you have a good story it may end up in print.