March 2014 Presiden’t Message

Sharon Lewis HeadShotGreetings from your Chapter of the Association of the US Army.

 I often try to think of what should be communicated in this message to our members. Do I speak about the activities that we are doing, what we have done, and what is on the horizon? Do I acknowledge the hard work of all of our board members? Do I discuss the hurdles that we face as a chapter and an Army? Do I remind everyone that we need your membership in order to continue on? Do I express our gratitude to all those corporate members and volunteers who stand by us and support our soldiers and their families here at Fort Bragg? Any one of these topics is appropriate for this area of our newsletter. But what is more important is why. Why are these things important to you, me, our leaders, our families, and those who serve our country?

Why are these things important? We stand ready to support you our servicemen and women, but what can we do that isn’t being done? How can we help you navigate through an unclear way ahead for you and your family?

Do you remember the first days you served in the military? My guess is that there were some days you asked yourself why you made this choice, other days you were more than excited about your future with the military, and some days you felt uneasy about what may be next and where the path might take you. The thought of the unknown brings multiple emotions to the surface. Regardless of the reason for joining, you decided that being a member of our nation’s military was going to be something you would commit to and follow through with. Your decision was made knowing that there were risks and sacrifices that would be made. Yet, you chose this path, the one that was more uncertain than any other. This path that you are on is not just yours, but those who love and care about you are on this journey as well. Your family, your friends, your spouse, your children, and anyone who is in your life will provide some type of sacrifice in order for you to be part of the military.

It is an overwhelming notion that nearly everyone who has served and is serving has given up so much and asked those around them to do the same. There is a proudness that comes from each one of us that is related to or knows someone in the military. For those who served, they too should be proud of the commitment they made. Why wouldn’t we acknowledge everyone and anyone who gave up their time for our country? Why would we only give a discount to those who retired from the military or who are currently serving. All of this and the future of the military remind me of a story.

Indulge me for a moment as I provide some insight into why I am so committed to this organization and to our military and their families.

The other day, I was in line at a store and a man in front of me who was probably in his 70’s was getting ready to check out. The person checking him out asked him if he was retired military? He paused and looked at myself and the others behind me and said, “I served in the Army”. He took a deep breath and then continued, “but I didn’t retire from the Army.” The cashier continued to ring up his items and she said, “ok, because we give a military discount to retirees and active duty.” The cashier continued to ring up his items without missing a beat or even lifting her head up to see his reaction. He smiled and then said, “I guess watching nearly all of my friends and fellow troopers die isn’t good enough for your store to recognize my service. I guess this veterans card doesn’t really matter.” He pulled out a veteran’s ID card and showed it to the cashier. By this time several gentleman behind me were telling the cashier to give him the discount. The cashier stopped ringing the items up and seemed flustered and not sure what to do. She remarked that she wasn’t able to give him a discount if he wasn’t retired because this was the store’s policy. She looked at myself and said, “I could lose my job”. She continued to apologize as she went back to ringing up the rest of his merchandise. But, then something unbelievable happened. There were not many people behind me in line, but as the cashier finished ringing everything up one person next to us in another line, caught her attention and handed her a few dollars. He remarked, “if you won’t acknowledge his sacrifice to this nation, then I will gladly offer to give you a few dollars to equal the discount he should have received.” Within what seemed instantaneously, people started to come up and hand money to the cashier! I too handed several dollars to the cashier. One man commented to the veteran as he handed the cashier a twenty dollar bill, “Sir I just ETS’d last week. I didn’t retire either. My family has given too much and I want to see my kids graduate. But your sacrifice is not discounted sir. I thank you and hope you know that I appreciate your service to our country.” What was amazing to all of us was, this veteran who didn’t retire, but who obviously served his time, and lost many friends, turned to the younger gentleman who ETS’d from the Army and gave the $20 to the cashier and he said, “I will not take your money, because you will need it for the days to come.” He took the $20 away from the cashier and handed it back to the young man. He continued, “the road ahead is challenging and the things you have been through will never be far off in your memory. I am humbled by your act of kindness. I never asked for your help, but your willingness to help me is the best thing I could ask for. Thirty-some years ago, when I came home from Vietnam, no one supported me or thanked me. I just lost most of my friends and I had no job. I lost the girl that I loved and wanted to marry. No one offered discounts to anyone in the military or retired military. People don’t understand what those in the military give up when we serve our country, retired, not retired, active duty or not. I said good-bye to my parents and my girl and I didn’t know whether I was coming back. Then I saw my friends die and I couldn’t prevent that. Each and every time you go off to combat, you lose a piece of you. A discount is wonderful and helps my wallet. But the kindness of a fellow human being is precious and heals my heart.”

With everything that was going on, the manager came over and the cashier explained what happened. The cashier ended up giving the discount to the gentleman anyway. But no one, not even myself would take the money that we handed the cashier back. By this time he was checked out and standing to the side and in front of the check out line. He was shaking peoples hands and hugging others to thank them. By the time I made my way through the checkout and it was my turn for the veteran to thank me, he gave me a hug and I remarked, “You may leave the job of being a soldier, but you never leave the people.”

Is there a reason why I mention this story to you? I do because as we face difficult times, and the downsizing of our military, we need not forget that we are in this together. We may leave the job, but we don’t leave the people. That is why this is by far one of the most rewarding and yet self-sacrificing jobs that anyone can be in. The job of a soldier, the job of a soldier’s family. I ask you to consider this in the times ahead. Remember why you joined the military. Do not forget those first days and the emotions that you felt and remember that just as you read this, someone is in their first days of being in the military and they are feeling the same way you felt sometime ago.

You may leave this job, but you cannot leave the people. The people remain. Whether from Vietnam, or any other conflicts we have been involved with, past, present, and future, the people remain. There is an invisible tie that binds us all.

Lastly, my father proudly told anyone and everyone who would listen to him, and even some he told more than one or two times that he served in the Air Force. He never retired, but he never really left either. Even with his passing away nearly 3 years ago, I often feel his presence when speaking to our military service men and women. Prior to his death, I spoke to him a few days before when he called me to check on us see that we were surviving some weather that had come through the area. He said, “I know you are strong and smart and I know that you will make it through the storm.  But I will always check to make sure you are all right. That is what we learn to do in the military. Check on our battle buddies. We don’t leave until all are present or have been accounted for.” He died two days later and on Thanksgiving. I will always remember those words and others he provided me while growing up. When he last visited Fort Bragg he commented to my husband how safe he felt while he was on post. He mentioned that when he traveled with the Air Force, he always knew that he would feel better when he made it to the next installation or base he was traveling to. “I feel at home and a sense of security whenever I make it to another base. It is the in-between that makes me uneasy. But I know that whenever I arrive, whether to an Army installation, Naval Base, or an Air Force Base, I feel a sense of relief to be amongst my comrades.”  

My father and the veteran in the store that I mentioned earlier continue to motivate me and remind me that although we may have left the job, we have not left the people. There must be accountability for all who serve and their families.

I hope that you will continue to be a member of the Braxton Bragg AUSA team. If you have not already become a member or if you know someone who has not joined, please consider becoming part of a team that needs your help to continue on the legacy for fighting for our soldiers and their families. Retire from the job, but not the people. Help us continue to do the accountability checks for all our buddies in harms way.

Thank you.

Sharon Lewis
President
Braxton Bragg Association of the US Army 

Farewell to a True Patriot, CSM William T. Mixon, US Army Retired

CSM William T. Mixon, US Army Retired

Courtesy of Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home

 

OI1439751710_MixonWTAdvanceBorn: Tuesday, January 15, 1929
Died: Saturday, January 11, 2014

Command Sergeant Major (Retired) William T. Mixon (1929-2014)

Command Sergeant Major William T. Mixon was born in Vidalia, Georgia on January 15, 1929. He died January 11, 2014 in West Palm Beach Florida at the Veterans Administration Hospital. CSM Mixon entered the Army in 1948 and completed 35 years of service in the Army retiring at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as the Command Sergeant Major of XVIII Airborne Corps. During his 35 year career he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility including Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Ranger Department, Command Sergeant Major U.S. Army Infantry Center,

Command Sergeant Major 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam and Command Sergeant Major U.S. Army Alaska. He served 31 years on parachute status completing more than 1500 military static line parachute jumps. Command Sergeant Major Mixon served in combat during the Korean War with the 3d Infantry Division where he participated in the Inchon Landing and fought in the Chosen Reservoir Operations. He served a total of 18 months in combat during the Korean War. He also served two one year tours during the Vietnam War with the 101st Airborne Division including service as the 101st Airborne Division Command Sergeant Major from 1969-1970.

He participated in numerous operations such as Operation Hawthorne, Junction City, and other combat operations including a parachute drop at Kontoon, Vietnam. During the Cuban missile crisis, he was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone where his unit was poised for contingency airborne operations associated with that historic period of American history.

After his retirement from active duty in 1983, he worked for Mutual of New York Life Insurance Company in Fayetteville, North Carolina and managed his own business. He was chosen by President Reagan to serve on the National Veterans Cemetery Board. He also served on the advisory board of the Association of the United States Army, Braxton Bragg Chapter, and the Counsel of Trustees Association of the United States Army, Washington D.C. He was a member of the Masonic Blue Lodge with a 3d degree and 50 years of service. He also was a member of the Scottish Rite with a 32d degree.

CSM Mixon was recognized as a premier sports official and was a member North Carolina Athletic Association. His awards and honors include Legion of Merit (2 awards), Bronze Star, Air Medal (44 awards and 1 with V device), Korean War and Vietnam War Service Medals and Combat Infantryman Badge with star. He earned the Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and Expert Infantryman Badge. He is a member of the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame, Ranger Training Brigade Hall of Fame, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Hall of Fame and the U.S. Infantry Center Dough Boy Award. He was honored with the Association of the United States Army William G. Bainbridge Award and the Presidential Medal for his service to the Association. CSM Mixon is survived by his wife of 63 years Mary Winefred Mixon.

He has three children LTG (R) Benjamin R. Mixon, Sarah Jane Forsythe and Betty Jean Davidson. He has six grandchildren, Michael, Ashlee, Kortney, Adrienne, Amanda and Charles. He has four great grandchildren Mary Charlotte, Frederick, Eliza, and James. He is survived by his sister Mamie Turner. CSM Mixon was preceded by his mother and father Tracy and Cora, brothers Grady, Lamar, John and sister Josephine Rogers.

The funeral Service will be held in the chapel of Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home at 310 North Street West, Vidalia, Georgia beginning at 3 PM January 18, 2014. Burial will follow in Lakeview Memorial Gardens with Military Honors.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home beginning at 1 PM on Saturday.

In lieu flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the National Kidney Foundation.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2013 AUSA FORT BRAGG FAMILY OF THE YEAR – THE WENTLING FAMILY

 

130903-A-NQ409-068Fort Bragg, N.C.  – Spc. Matthew Wentling, right, his wife Marrisa, left, and their children, Kaleb and Marisol will be recognized as the Association of the United States Army 2013 Volunteer Family of the Year during the Annual AUSA Conference in Washington D.C. this October. Matthew, who serves with the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, and his family were nominated by the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. April D. de Armas, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs) 

  

82nd CABFORT BRAGG, N.C. – Capt. Amanda Maben and 1st Sgt. Donald K. Atkins, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, presents a coin to Kaleb Wentling, April 30, during a ceremony honoring the Month of the Military Child. The celebration is to recognize the contributions that the military child makes as their parent or parents serve our nation. Kaleb is the son of Spc. Matthew Wentling, 3-82 GSAB, and Marrisa Wentling. The Wentling family will be recognized as the 2013 Association of the United State Army Volunteer Family of the Year at the annual AUSA Conference in Washington, D.C., this October. The Award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose dedicated volunteer service significantly contributes to improving Army well-being and the well-being of the local community. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. April D. de Armas, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs) 

130430-A-NQ409-065

Fort Bragg, N.C. – Marrisa Wentling, Family Readiness Volunteer for the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, shows off a greeting card created by her daughter’s Brownies troop to add to care boxes for deployed Soldiers, April 30. The Wentling family will be recognized as the 2013 Association of the United State Army Volunteer Family of the Year during the annual AUSA Conference  in Washington, D.C., this October. The Award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose dedicated volunteer service significantly contributes to improving Army well-being and the well-being of the local community. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. April D. de Armas, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs) 

130612-A-NQ409-025Fort Bragg, N.C. – Marisol Wentling right, helps Staff Sgt. Jennifer Churchill, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, prepare a sweet treat at an ice cream social held for troopers, June 12. Marisol is the daughter of Spc. Matthew Wentling, 3-82 General Support Aviation, and Marrisa Wentling. The Wentling family will be recognized as the 2013 Association of the United States Army Volunteer Family of the Year during the annual AUSA Conference in Washington, D.C., this October. The Award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose dedicated volunteer service significantly contributes to improving Army well-being and the well-being of the local community. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. April D. de Armas, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

 

130430-A-NQ409-064Fort Bragg, N.C.  – Spc. Matthew Wentling, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, helps his son Kaleb accept a certificate presented by Capt. Amanda Maben and 1st Sgt. Donald K. Atkins, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3-82GSAB, during a ceremony honoring the Month of the Military Child, April 30. Wentling and his family were the winners of the 2013 Association of the United States Army Volunteer Family of the Year Award. The Award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose dedicated volunteer service significantly contributes to improving Army well-being and the well-being of the local community. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. April D. de Armas, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

 

130425-A-EM852-058Fort Bragg, N.C. – Marrisa Wentling receives a certificate of achievement from 82nd Airborne Division Commander Maj. Gen. John W. Nicholson and Command Sgt. Maj. LaMarquis Knowles in honor of the many hours she has donated during her time with the All American Division in a ceremony at the division chapel, April 25. Wentling, her husband, Spc. Matthew Wentling, of the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, and their children, Marisol and Kaleb will be recognized as the Association of the United States Army Volunteer Family of the Year during the Annual AUSA Conference in Washington D.C. this October. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. April Campbell, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

 

ARTICLE AND PICTURES ARE COURTESY OF THE 82nd CAB

AUSA NAMES 2013 MEDAL AND AWARD RECIPIENTS

AUSA Names 2013 Medal and Award Recipients 

8/13/2013 

The Association of the United States Army’s Council of Trustees has announced the names of the 2013 national AUSA award recipients as recommended to the council by the Association’s awards committee.

The awards will be presented at the opening session of the Association’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, Monday, Oct. 21, at 9:30 a.m., in the main ballroom of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the nation’s capital with one exception.

The Dixon Award, presented to a member of the defense industry, will be presented at the AUSA Sustaining Member Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 23, the last day of the three-day professional development forum.

As previously announced, the George Catlett Marshall Medal for selfless service to the United States of America, will be awarded to Robert M. Gates, a former secretary of defense and director of the Central Intelligence Agency, at the Marshall dinner, Wednesday, Oct. 23, where Gates will be the speaker.

2013 AUSA National Award Recipients

Gen. Creighton W. Abrams Medal for exceptional service to the United States Army is awarded to Gen. Louis C. Wagner Jr., USA, Ret., a former commander of U.S. Army Materiel Command and a current AUSA senior fellow with the Association’s Institute of Land Warfare.

Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Medal for outstanding contributions to the Association of the United States Army is awarded to Col. David A. Beckner, USA, Ret., immediate past president of  AUSA’s  Stuttgart Chapter, serving as the lynchpin of this chapter for over two decades.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army William O. Bainbridge Medal for exceptional service to the Noncommissioned Officer Corps is awarded to Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew McFowler, USA, Ret., for his 35 years of outstanding service in leading, training and mentoring soldiers and supporting their families.

Lt. Gen. Raymond McLain Medal for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the Association of the United States Army’s goal of a seamless and component-oriented Army is awarded to Brig. Gen. Richard S. Miller, IN ARNG, Ret., for his over 35 years of service, retiring as the deputy commanding general for training, 38th Infantry Division, Indiana Army National Guard.

Maj. Gen. Earl Rudder Medal for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the Association of the United States Army’s goal of a seamless and component-oriented Army is awarded to Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas Gibbens, USAR, Ret., who after 35 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, is the AUSA Second Region’s vice president and Indiana state president, Indiana Chapter president, and a member of the Association’s Reserve Component Advisory Committee.

The Joseph P. Cribbins Medal for exemplary service to the United States Army is awarded to Scott J. Davis, Department of the Army civilian, who is serving as the program executive officer, Ground Combat Systems, Tank Automotive Command Life Cycle Management Command, Warren, Mich.

John W. Dixon award is for outstanding contributions to national defense by a member of the industrial community is presented to Linda P. Hudson, president and CEO, BAE Systems, Inc., for supporting the needs of soldiers as a key partner to the U.S. Army.

The Volunteer Family of the Year award is presented to the 1st Sgt. Tommy Flores Family, for their exemplary volunteer service to the Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Sill, Okla., military and civilian communities.

The National Service Award, created this year by the Association, is awarded to the PentFed Foundation for its exemplary service and demonstrated enduring support to the American soldier and the United States Army Community. 

This Article is from AUSA National. For more info, please go to:

http://www.ausa.org/news/2013/Pages/AUSANames2013MedalandAwardRecipients.aspx

September 2013 President’s Message

Sharon Lewis HeadShotBraxton Bragg Friends,

The weather is finally cooling down and the kids have gone back to school. We are nearing the end of this fiscal year and preparing to start a new fiscal year.

The Braxton Bragg team is proud to announce the 2013 SGM of the Army, William O. Bainbridge Medal is being awarded to our own chapter board member, CSM Andrew McFowler, USA, Ret. for his exceptional service to the Noncommissioned Officer Corps and for his 35 years of outstanding service in leading, training and mentoring soldiers and supporting their families.

Congratulations to: The Wentling Family for receiving first runner up for the AUSA Family of the year.

Congratulations to all of you!

While we all have made it through the sequestration dilemma, our uncertainty looms in our future. We have yet to know how the sequester will impact us indirectly and directly. Only time can tell.

While our country is dealing with many new concerns, we know that somewhere in the most dangerous location imaginable, our military is on point ready to protect us. Our soldiers are still our greatest defense and weapon we have in our arsenal. But just as with anything, there is an amount of safeguarding and upkeep that is necessary to assure we don’t let our weapon rust or stop working.

If I were to sum it up, AUSA is the diagnostic system that tells us if we need to bring that weapon into the shop for some overdue maintenance. When I think about a new soldier joining the military, the situation often makes me think about other big choices we make in life. We all want some type of assurance that our decision is a good choice and that someone is looking out for us. We want that sense of comfort to use our maintenance option whenever possible.

Wouldn’t it be nice if for only the cost of an average AUSA membership, $34 a year we could buy maintenance for ourselves! That is quite a deal.  Well, you can. That is what we do here at AUSA. We provide you maintenance so that no matter how far this journey is going to take you, there is a guarantee we won’t let you sit stranded on the side of the highway. We assure your healthcare is affordable and not ever in question. We assure your pay is relatively close to the economical standard for your job and location. We provide you plenty of professional opportunities that should enable you to launch into that next level career for yourself.

But more important than anything, we fight to protect you and to protect your battle buddies. So when your tuition assistance or medical benefits are in jeopardy, you can sleep easy knowing we are watching out for you and assuring your voice is heard up on Capital Hill.

We are your weapon and we are always ready to be there to protect you.

I encourage you to chime in and provide your feedback. Participate and help us become a better organization for you.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that once again Braxton Bragg was recognized as for several achievements this past year:

  • 82nd Airborne Division = Runner Up for Largest Active Duty Division
  • Braxton Bragg Chapter = Runner Up for Largest Overall Membership.
  • Braxton Bragg Chapter = Best Chapter Newsletter
  • Braxton Bragg Chapter = Runner Up for Greatest Percentage Increase Government Civilian Employee Membership
  • Braxton Bragg Chapter = Army Birthday
  • Braxton Bragg Chapter = Family Programs
  • Braxton Bragg Chapter = ILW
  • Braxton Bragg Chapter = ROTC/JROCT/OCS Support
  • Braxton Bragg Chapter = Support To Recruiting Command
  • Braxton Bragg Chapter = Army History

Thank you for helping us achieve these goals. We cannot do it without you, our members and Board of Directors!

A special thanks to our Board of Directors, who volunteer their time to help us achieve our goal of being the voice for the Army and support for the soldier.

Sincerely,

Sharon Lewis

President

Braxton Bragg Association of the US Army

 

 

March 2013 President’s Message

Sharon Lewis HeadShotAs we bid farewell to 2012, let us reflect on the events we accomplished last year:

  • Quarterly luncheons and general membership meetings – Thank you Maria Rizzotto – VP of Programs
  • Provided scholarships to Soldiers and their Families – Thank you Vinnie Venturella – VP of Scholarship Activities
  • 16th Annual Expo and Symposium – Thank you Mark Acker – VP of Expo Activities
  • Annual Presidents’ Golf Tournament – Thank you Cris Nunez – VP of NCO and Enlisted Affairs
  • Attended AUSA’s National Convention in Washington D.C. – Thank you Maria Rizzotto VP of Programs
  • Carolina Night – Thank you Maria Rizzotto – VP of Programs 3rd Annual Holiday Soldier Appreciation Luncheon
  • Annual kickoff breakfast with Gen. Gordon Sullivan
  • Monthly support for retiree celebrations – Thank you Willie Wright – VP of Retiree Affairs
  • 100% Hooah Club – a day fishing – Thank you Roger Vickers VP of Soldier Membership

We have a jam-packed year full of activities that will appeal to each of you in some way. Here are just a few of the upcoming events:

  • April 29 – Annual President’s Golf Tournament at Ryder Golf Course
  • April 30 – May 1 – 17th Annual Expo – Fort Bragg Club
  • June 12 – Scholarship Awards Luncheon – Fort Bragg Club

The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) has committed to bringing its 2014 Winter Symposium & Exposition to Raleigh on February 26-28, 2014.
Read more…

AUSA and MAC Scholarship Program

We at Braxton Bragg are excited to announce our 2013 Annual Scholarship Program. Please see our application by clicking here:

2013 AUSA Scholarship Application

For additional info, please contact our Chapter Office at 910.396.3755

Thank you and Good Luck!

Holiday Soldier Appreciation Luncheon

Braxton Bragg’s 3rd Annual Soldier Appreciation Donors

Thank You To All Our Generous Donors Who Supported Braxton Bragg’s 3rd Annual Holiday Soldier Appreciation Luncheon!

Thank you to all those who supported our Annual Holiday Soldier Appreciation Luncheon.

 

Recap: Annual Convention – 2012

sharon_george-ausa

BRAXTON BRAGG CHAPTER REPRESENTS MEMBERSHIP

at

ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY 2012 ANNUAL MEETING

Washington, DC

 

Sunday October 2012 dawned clear and bright, a great day for the Army 10 miler and as always a landmark in the “Army Hooah Tent” encampment was the Fort Bragg “Hooah” Tent.

The tent serves as a rallying point for hundreds if not thousands of Fort Bragg Alumni who gather to meet with and congratulate the Fort Bragg runners and enjoy a bit of the incomparable “Airborne and Special Operations Spirit” that can only be found at Fort Bragg. This year represented another first in that the Hooah Tent also served as a center for FORSCOM and USARC now fully relocated to the Fort Bragg “Center of the Universe”! Congratulations to all of our Fort Bragg and Sandhills runners who participated in the 27th Annual Army 10 Miler!

And while the 10 Miler serves as a rallying point and singular event it also serves to signal the start of the Association of the United States Army Annual meeting held at the Walter Washington Convention center in Washington, DC. The meetings started on Sunday. Our President, Sharon Lewis and Immediate Past President, George Quigley, represented the Chapter at the Presidents dinner and accepted numerous awards on behalf of the Chapter representing our support to our Fort Bragg Soldiers and their families and our Army in general, AUSA being the “Voice for the Army”

As always, the opening ceremonies were inspirational and included a stirring portrayal of the contributions of our Army to the nation since its inception in 1775. An address by the AUSA President and CEO, GEN (Ret) Gordon Sullivan as well as by the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh, who praised our Soldiers and their families and provided an overview of the Army’s future as our nation struggles with numerous issues. The bottom line as always is that our Army will remain strong, will keep the faith with our Soldiers and their families, and will be ready if and when our Nation calls. Your membership helps to insure that AUSA keeps that message vibrant on Capitol Hill and in the forefront with our elected representatives and the Nation.

The Braxton Bragg Hospitality suite in the Sheraton Four Points was available for all members and visitors throughout the meetings. It is a great place to relax, get some refreshments, conduct meetings and enjoy fellowship with other Fort Bragg / Sandhills participants

Once again, the highlight of the events was Carolina Night, hosted by the Braxton Bragg Chapter and sponsored by:

Raytheon

North Carolina Defense Business Association

Healy Wholesale

PWC

Hendrick Chrysler Jeep

Rick Hendrick Toyota

Reed Lallier Chevrolet

R.A. Jeffrey’s Distributing Company, L.L.C.

Lafayette Ford

It is always a much sought after invite, but open to all former and current paratroopers, Fort Bragg Alumni, and their families and friends. Guests were treated to a wonderful Carolina Barbecue Buffet and while we missed the traditional presentation by the “All American Chorus” we were honored and privileged to be entertained by Warrior Spirit Band comprised of Wounded Warriors from Vietnam and our current conflicts. Their songs encompassed their challenges as Wounded Warriors and were well received by all in attendance. Special thanks to Maria Rizzotto and her Team for the tremendous effort they provided in support of all of the Chapter events. 

The Chapter was honored to have numerous outstanding leaders and several of their spouses join us to include:

-   Gen David Rodriguez – CG, FORSCOM

-   LTG Dan Allyn – CG, XVIII Abn Corps

-   CSM Vimoto – CSM, XVIII Abn Corps

-   CSM (R) Jimmie Spencer – AUSA National Director

-   CSM Thomas Capel – CSM ISAF

-   BG Kelly Thomas – FORSCOM
 Deputy Chief of Staff

-   CSM Darrin Bohn – CSM FORSCOM

-   The Honorable Geoffrey G. Prosch

The Braxton Bragg reps along with many of the Fort Bragg leadership Team also attended the President’s Luncheon with a keynote address from the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Ray Odierno, the Corporate Luncheon, Third Region breakfast hosted by the new Third region President, Mary Trier with a keynote address by LTG (Ret) Jack Stultz, former CG of the USARC, and the Marshall Award Dinner honoring former Secretary of State, the Honorable James Baker. Each of these provided information that will allow our Chapter to better serve the Fort Bragg/Sandhills community.

Throughout the 3 day events Chapter representatives attended various for a focused on various topics impacting our Army to include the budget, family support, PTSD/TBI, installation management, force modernization and panoply of other topics. In addition, AUSA once again assembled a veritable “who’s who” of Defense Contractors who provide equipment, supplies, technology, and research and development in support of our Forces. This is truly a magnificent Professional Development opportunity for all who attend.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this Annual Meeting a success. If you have any questions about the meeting or want additional information on any of the presentations please contact the Chapter, visit our website www.braggausa.or org visit the AUSA national Website at www.ausa.org

 

 






HONOR RESTORED – Arlington National Cemetary

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