Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

Operation Lone Star 2015 - Palmview

Capt. George Martin, back left, Lt. Col. Claud Cameron center front, military officer in charge for the Palmview medical distribution point, and Senior Master Sgt. Brandon Clark, right, along with fellow Texas State Guardsmen from 1st Battalion, Texas Medical Brigade, prepare for the 17th annual Operation Lone Star at Palmview High School in South Texas, July 27, 2015.  OLS gives the Texas State Guard the opportunity to train with other state and local agencies for disaster response in Texas, which in turn provides free medical care to local residents. Last year more than 11,000 persons received more than 49,000 services during the training event. (Texas State Guard Photo by Col. Robert Morecook).
Capt. George Martin, back left, Lt. Col. Claud Cameron center front, military officer in charge for the Palmview medical distribution point, and Senior Master Sgt. Brandon Clark, right, along with fellow Texas State Guardsmen from 1st Battalion, Texas Medical Brigade, prepare for the 17th annual Operation Lone Star at Palmview High School in South Texas, July 27, 2015.  OLS gives the Texas State Guard the opportunity to train with other state and local agencies for disaster response in Texas, which in turn provides free medical care to local residents. Last year more than 11,000 persons received more than 49,000 services during the training event. (Texas State Guard Photo by Col. Robert Morecook).

 

Operation Lone Star 2015 - Dental Care

Dental Care -- Staff Sgt. Jose Mendoza, Texas Medical Command, Texas Army National Guard and Lt. Col. James Fancher, Medical Brigade, Texas State Guard, work on a dental patient at Operation Lone Star in Mission, Texas, July 28, 2015. OLS is an annual training event for Texas Military Forces to work with state and local partners to train for disaster response. The dental service soldiers are part of a team of dentists, dental assistants and dental students who served more than 200 local community members each day at Palmview High School. (Texas State Guard photo by Col. Robert Morecook/Released)
Dental Care -- Staff Sgt. Jose Mendoza, Texas Medical Command, Texas Army National Guard and Lt. Col. James Fancher, Medical Brigade, Texas State Guard, work on a dental patient at Operation Lone Star in Mission, Texas, July 28, 2015. OLS is an annual training event for Texas Military Forces to work with state and local partners to train for disaster response. The dental service soldiers are part of a team of dentists, dental assistants and dental students who served more than 200 local community members each day at Palmview High School. (Texas State Guard photo by Col. Robert Morecook/Released)

 

19th Regiment Trains for Disaster Relief in East Texas

Story  by: Capt. Esperanza Meza

Posted: July 2, 2015

Annual Training commenced for the Dallas-based 19th Civil Affairs Regiment
Texas State Guard 19th Regiment soldiers, Pvt. David Bridgwater, Pvt. John Leveridge and Pfc. Levi Sourjohn, evacuate an injured role player, a boy scout from Troop 1857, Texas Skies District, Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America, assisted by  Steve Gilbert, District Training Chairman, during a Ground Search and Recovery exercise in Ben Wheeler, Texas, June 5, 2015. Ground search and rescue is a Texas State Guard mission essential service that assists local authorities during an emergency. (Texas State Guard photo by Capt. Esperanza Meza/Released)  

CANTON, Texas - Annual Training commenced for the Dallas-based 19th Civil Affairs Regiment, Texas State Guard, as troops deployed to various locations in Van Zandt and Upshur counties to test and strengthen their emergency response capabilities, June 4-7, 2015.

Treating boy scout
Staff Sgt. John Legg, Texas State Guard 19th Regiment, conducts a medical review of an injured role player, Stephen Gilbert, from Troop 1857, Texas Skies District, Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America, during a ground search and recovery exercise in Ben Wheeler, Texas, June 5, 2015. Texas State Guard soldiers are trained to provide combat life-saving first aid to assist victims during an emergency. (Texas State Guard photo by Capt. Esperanza Meza/Released)

The training scenario for the exercise involved a Category 4 hurricane making landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast spawning severe weather with widespread flooding and tornadoes. The exercise tested the regiment’s leadership and staff at every level, strengthening their overall capability during an emergency. The scenario challenged troops to exercise their response capabilities in communications, mass care, shelter management, evacuee tracking, and search and rescue.

Local churches and high schools across Van Zandt County were transformed into mass care shelters with emergency tracking network stations and medical treatment stations for special needs patients. 

“We were very happy to be here with the Texas State Guard and being part of the community that helps our residents,” said Reverend Wade Harman of The United Methodist Church, Canton, Texas. "It is important to see our Texas State Guard at work."

"I am impressed by the professionalism and high operating tempo of the 19th Regiment,” stated Brig. Gen. Howard Palmer, Army Component Commander, Texas State Guard. “I am grateful by the level of community response and participation.  This cooperative training benefits everyone."

Pvt. Jason Harber, a new enlistee who swore into the Guard at annual training commented that "the 19th Regiment is professional, well-organized, friendly, and helpful in getting me up to speed. This was a good decision to join.”

The exercise also included Ground Search and Recovery in Ben Wheeler, Texas, which tested soldiers' abilities in land navigation, communication, first aid, and search methods. Assisting the regiment, six Texas Skies District Boy Scouts from Van Zandt County played the part of a lost campers in the path of a tornado.  Three six-man search teams from the regiment searched the area to locate victims, apply first aid as required and evacuate them. Champion Emergency Support supported the exercise with paramedics and an ambulance and Flight for Life, based in Palestine, Texas, simulated patient recovery with an emergency medical helicopter.

"Annual Training provided unique challenges for command and control. Our unit force packages were stretched to make numerous decisions within a framework of rapidly changing locations and conditions. They accomplished the mission,” said Lt. Col. Wendell Sadler, 19th Regiment operations officer.

"This is an outstanding training opportunity to work with local authorities," stated Maj. Gen. Gerald "Jake" Betty, Commanding General, Texas State Guard.  "As normal, our soldiers are doing an outstanding job.  I am honored and humbled to visit with the dedicated soldiers of the Texas State Guard."

Following completion of the hurricane scenario, troops conducted a confidence exercise at Alert Academy, led by Col. Richard Tanner, commanding officer, Alert Academy and academy training instructors, in Big Sandy, Texas. The exercise started with an arduous land navigation exercise with a dismounted cross country movement followed by advanced ground search and rescue training. Troops were physically and mentally focused as they approached obstacles, including a rappelling tower, rock climbing wall, and a one-rope river crossing exercise.

Pvt. Brooke Jones, another recent enlistee, stated that she "thoroughly enjoyed the experiences with the rappelling tower and the water crossing activity. Both exercises allowed me to push myself, build my confidence, instill a sense of trust and foster camaraderie with my teammates, who also provided plenty of encouragement along the way. I enjoyed the rappelling so much I opted to descend inverted, along with Pfc. Michael Roppolo. I am confident that my experiences with both exercises will make me a more effective soldier so that I may be able to better serve my fellow Texans." 

During the closing ceremony at the Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial, the 19th Regiment thanked Van Zandt county officials and residents for supporting the regiment's annual training, at Canton, Texas, June 7, 2015.   Attending the ceremony were Van Zandt County Judge Don Kirkpatrick, Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Department, Van Zandt County Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck Allen, the Van Zandt Precinct Watch, Red Cross, Circle Ten Council Boy Scouts and Cub Scout Pack 378, local church pastors, municipal fire and police, and representatives from the Wills Point, Texas, and Martin Mills, Texas, independent school districts.  

The Texas State Guard provides support to local authorities during a disaster or emergency such as hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding.  The Texas State Guard also conducts the state's largest annual humanitarian medical mission, Operation Lone Star, in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Texas State Guard Partners with Brazoria County Emergency Management

Story by: Warrant Officer Malana Nall 

Posted: June 30, 2015

Pfc. Justin Stanton, 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, carries cases of ready-to-eat meals for residents of Brazoria County
PFC Justin Stanton, 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, carries cases of ready-to-eat meals for residents of Brazoria County during a points of distribution exercise at Alvin Community College, Alvin, Texas, June 27, 2015.  Distributing food, water, and ice to residents is a mission essential task for the Texas State Guard during an emergency. (Texas State Guard photo by Capt. Shawn James/Released)

HOUSTON, Texas – Joint training benefits the Texas State Guard and the local management and residents so in the event of a real emergency, every-one will be able to respond effectively and provide assistance to those in need. In the spirit of cooperation, education and training, the Texas State Guard 8th Regiment, 447th Air Support Group 5th Air Wing, 2nd Battalion Texas Medical Brigade and Corps of Engineers partnered with the Brazoria County Office of Emergency Management and the Fort Bend Community to run a hurricane evacuation and sheltering exercise June 25th through June 28th. Armories in Angleton, Rosenberg and Houston, Texas served as bases of operations. 

Troops mustered at the Westheimer Armory, Houston, TX, to receive safety and mission briefings before heading to their duty assignments. During the exercise, soldiers assigned to Angleton broke into two groups. One proceeded to the Lake Jackson Civic Center, Lake Jackson, TX while the other went to the Pearland Recreation Center in Pearland to conduct mock evacuations of Brazoria County residents. The exercise utilized the Brazoria County All Hazard Response Network, a system similar to the Evacuation and Tracking Network used by the state to track evacuees throughout the process. 

The 8th Regiments also conducted a mock mass casualty incident at the Lake Jackson Civic Center. Soldiers assigned to the Rosenberg armory, in Rosenberg, Texas, set up a temporary daytime only shelter at the First Assembly of God Church in Rosenberg, for residents escaping rising flood waters. The local volunteer organization, Helping Hands, which helped cleaned homes damaged by the recent Memorial Day flooding, assisted by acting as evacuees. 

As the exercise moved into it’s third day, the 8th Regiment set up and operated points of distribution on the campus of Alvin Community College in Alvin and at the Rosenberg Civic Center in Fort Bend County for local residents who were without electricity and in need of food, water and ice.

Texas State Guard officers 1st Lt. Carl Mathews, 447th Support Group, 5th Air Wing, and Capt. Joseph Conte, 8th Regiment,   review the emergency operations command information board at the 8th Regiment tactical operations command center
Texas State Guard officers 1st Lt. Carl Mathews, 447th Support Group, 5th Air Wing, and Capt. Joseph Conte, 8th Regiment, 
review the emergency operations command information board at the 8th Regiment tactical operations command center during 8th 
Regiment annual training at the Westheimer Armory in Houston, Texas, June 26, 2015.  This information provides the Texas 
emergency management system real time updates to the Texas State Guard during an emergency.  (Texas State Guard photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall/Released)

At the same time, Corps of Engineers used this training as an opportunity to inspect local roads, bridges and levees for damage from the recent rains and river flooding.

Volunteers from both counties assisted with the exercises by becoming role players to enhance the complexity and realism of the training.

A real world event, solar flares disrupted radio communications with the tactical operations center. Command Sgt. Maj. John Marshall immediately assisted with re-establishing communications. Marshall was very proud of how the soldiers responded. “They were very quick to find a solution to the problem,” he stated. 

The 8th Regiment used local caterers to provide meals for the troops and in the process added over $14,000 of financial stimulus to the local communities according to financial officer Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gregory Murray. 

This annual training was an outstanding opportunity for the soldiers and airmen of the Texas State Guard to sharpen their skills and abilities to help their fellow Texans during an emergency.

 

Article on 8th Regiment from The Facts

Article on 8th Regiment from The Facts

Posted with permission of The Facts

Hurricane drills test, prepare local volunteers

By BRITTANY LAMAS brittany.lamas@thefacts.com | Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2015 2:00 am

Hurricane Expo
Hurricane Expo
Karen Booren is carried by Theodore Mikeasky and Eseil Hernandez of the Texas State Guard to the medical station as part of a mass casualities drill Friday at the Lake Jackson Civic Center.

LAKE JACKSON — As Lisa Dewey reclined on a table in the Lake Jackson Civic Center with bandages on her arms and wounds on her head, Texas State Guard troops bustled around, assessing her fake injuries.

She was impressed with the team’s professionalism and seriousness.

“They’re definitely taking this serious. Some of the times I’m trying not to laugh, but they’re very good,” she said.

Dewey came by the Civic Center as a volunteer for an evacuation hub exercise and a mass-casualty drill to test emergency response procedures for the county and the Texas State Guard.

After seven years of mild storms since Hurricane Ike in 2008, drills are critical as a major storm hitting Brazoria County becomes inevitable, Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator Glenn LaMont said.

The hub was the county’s first opportunity to test new software meant to help if an evacuation is called because of a hurricane, LaMont said.

“We’re one of the first county jurisdictions to use it in a drill,” he said. “We got to see how it worked. It’s pretty simple to use, and do it quickly at the level of putting people in and getting them out.”

The county’s Community Emergency Response Teams worked with the Texas State Guard, one of the state’s three military forces deployed in emergencies, and Galveston County emergency teams to practice signing people in, designating where they would go and getting them loaded onto evacuation buses.

LaMont said 60 to 80 volunteers came by to help make the drill as realistic as possible, which is key to checking how the procedures will hold up in a storm.

Response team volunteer Tallie Taylor Fine said she will be so much more confident in her skills if a storm blows through this summer.

She and her husband signed up to be part of Lake Jackson’s response team two months ago, so they really had no idea going into Friday what all would come with a real disaster situation, Fine said.

“There were some glitches, but we got those worked out and now I know where we’d put people with dogs and people with medical needs,” she said.

“I’m a lot more prepared now.”

Texas State Guard Capt. Austin Green said the teams were able to get people through the lines at the goal speed of one every 45 seconds. It was important volunteers get used to the pace needed for real situations, Green said.

Galveston County Homeland Security Planner Michael Lambert said it was a huge benefit for some of his employees to get to work with their neighbors and run through the system.

“Our people got to work with the software in real life and we all got to work together,” he said.

After the hub, the response teams surprised Green’s Texas State Guard troops with the mass-casualty drill.

The scenario given to them was that a tornado spawned from a storm blowing through, leaving several people injured and scattered about the Civic Center.

Green said a few years ago, some of his team members were gathered in a small-town city hall when the roof was almost ripped off the building.

“This would’ve occurred for real,” he said. “That’s why we train so heavily in first aid.”

General Howard Palmer said he was excited to see the hub and disaster drill go so well and have so many volunteers. It will all be critical in a real emergency, he said.

“We get as close to real life as we can make it. These guys have a sense of urgency. It’s important to them,” he said. “To see the community and the volunteers really come out to support the training, everybody benefits.”

On Saturday, the county teams worked with Lake Jackson, Richwood, Clute and Angleton emergency response crews to run POD, point of distribution, sites as an after-the-storm practice of giving out supplies to residents.

LaMont said that kind of exercise hasn’t been tested since 2011, and even though it’s been seven years since a major disaster, the entire weekend of drills will likely come in handy sooner, rather than later.

“We got lucky with Tropical Storm Bill, but our luck can’t hold out much longer,” he said. “It’s good to have these drills for everybody, so everybody can see how it really works.”

4th Regiment and City of Olney, Texas Conduct Joint Training

Story by:  Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer

Posted:  June 25, 2015

1st Day Briefing
The 4th Regiment conducts an initial briefing for the joint operations training with local emergency officials of Olney, Texas, June 12, 2015.  Warrant Officer Robert Gustavsen, 4th Regiment, serves as the battle captain. Participating in the briefing were 4th Regiment staff, Olney Emergency Manager Ronny Coward, Olney Police Chief Barry Roberts, and Olney Fire Chief  Ron Keeter.  The Texas State Guard conducts joint training to be ready to serve Texas communities during a man-made or natural disaster. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer/Released)

OLNEY, Texas - When deployed for an emergency, the Texas State Guard is under the control of the local emergency management operations.  So soldiers need to be trained on how to support local authorities in joint operations.   For annual training this year the 4th Regiment joined with the City of Olney, Texas, to conduct joint exercises, June 12-14, 2015. 

shelter operations
At the Olney High School gym, the 2nd Battalion sets up a shelter during annual training in Olney, Texas, June 13, 2015.  Spc. Rachel Carmickle and Staff Sgt. Eddie Thomas set up cots and place blankets for shelter guests. Shelter Management is a major mission essential task of the Texas State Guard when deployed during an emergency to assist Texas residents. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer/Released)

To conduct a successful joint training, planning began months in advance of the exercise.   The 4th Regiment training and operations staff Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ray Spoth and Master Sgt. Richard Schilling and Regiment Commander Lt. Col. Lloyd Lietz met with local officials many times to work out the details.  By the time the final decisions had been made, the 4th Regiment would be training with the City of Olney Emergency Management Operations, Olney Fire Department, Olney Police Department, Olney Hamilton Hospital, Olney EMS, Olney ISD, the Olney Enterprise, Olney Chamber of Commerce volunteers, local city and county officials, City of Graham Emergency Control Mobile Command Center, Wichita Falls Red Cross, and the Military Auxiliary Radio System

shaking hands
Olney local officials demonstrated their appreciation for the service of the 4th Regiment during annual training in Olney, Texas, June 12-14, 2015.  The spirit of joint cooperation and collaboration between the Texas State Guard and local authorities proved essential for the success of the joint operations training exercise.  When deployed for an emergency, the TXSG provides support to and operates under the control of local authorities to assure that Texas residents receive the necessary services during a disaster. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer/Released)

The scenarios for the exercise had several moving parts. The first day of the exercise had the 4th Regiment in Guthrie, Texas, for wildfires and then the regiment was ordered to Olney to prepare shelters for evacuees from Guthrie.  The regiment tactical operations center was located in the Olney Fire Department. The Olney Emergency Management and the Red Cross had designated two locations for shelters at Olney High School gym and the Southside Baptist Church (which had just recently received the Red Cross designation as a shelter).  With the assistance of the Wichita Falls Red Cross, shelters received cots and blankets and the regiment set up such areas as sleeping, eating, medical, children play, reception, and intake.  The Red Cross and the Baptist men's organization provided meals to the soldiers.

receiving instructions
Olney Emergency Manager Ronny Cowart directs 4th Regiment soldiers to begin necessary tasks required by the mock emergency.   Pvt. Joseph Harwell and Pfc. Traci Lamm, 2nd Battalion, and Cpl. David Files, 1st Battalion, receive instructions to set up road blocks in order to direct traffic away from the emergency command center, police department and fire department.  During an emergency, the Texas State Guard is capable of providing numerous support skills to assist local authorities. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer)

Working in the shelter at the church, Pfc. Kendra Neuendorff, 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment, who is attending her second annual training, commented that "I have a better idea of what I am supposed to do in a shelter and am learning more about the importance of the TXSG in a disaster."

On the second day, as shelter operations continued, Olney emergency management initiated its  disaster training events which would involve the training of multiple agencies.  The first emergency was a search and rescue of a hotel hit by a tornado where actors played roles of victims.  The fire department conducted the search and EMS transported the victims to the local hospital which conducted training on how to handle mass casualties.  The second emergency was a mock three-car crash which required the fire and police departments to extract victims who were then transported to the hospital.

The training also included 4th Regiment chaplains Capt. David Fish and 1st Lt. Todd Virnoche, who were called in to comfort a grieving parent of one of  the mock crash victims.  At both scenes the Texas State Guard set up a perimeter to keep onlookers at a safe distance from the disaster area.

On the final day the 4th Regiment was invited to attend church services in Olney.  Afterwards, the regiment joined in a parade down the main street along with Olney police and fire departments, and Olney Emergency Management.  At the final formation of the regiment in a moving gesture of appreciation, the Olney emergency officials shook hands with each soldier. Olney Emergency Manager Ronny Cowart expressed his appreciation for the capabilities of the TXSG.  "I am very grateful to have this opportunity to work with the Texas State Guard  and we are very happy that you came to Olney for your annual training."  Lt. Col. Lloyd Lietz, commander, 4th Regiment, was "impressed with the level of coordination and cooperation of the Olney emergency services and local officials during our annual training here in Olney."

Training is a learning opportunity to practice skills needed in the event of an emergency.  This joint annual training between Olney emergency responders and the 4th Regiment was therefore a success.  Olney emergency responders strengthened their skills and identified where more training was needed.   The 4th Regiment sharpened its ability to provide the support necessary to assist local authorities and the TXSG mission.  And everyone learned much more about how to work together in joint operation emergencies.  Once again, the 4th Regiment demonstrated the meaning of the TXSG motto "Texans Serving Texans."

Recruits “Come And Take” RBOT

Story by: SPC Matt Bramanti

Posted: June 23, 2015

2nd Regiment RBOT Graduation
Graduates of the Regional Basic Orientation Training (RBOT) at DPS Headquarters in Austin, TX on May 17, 2015.

AUSTIN – Amid shouts of “Come And Take It,” nearly 40 soldiers from around the state completed Regional Basic Orientation Training in May, marking the largest class to date.

The training, which spanned two weekends in April and May, gave recruits an introduction to the mission and capabilities of the Texas State Guard.

The April session focused on classroom sessions covering TXSG history, military customs and courtesy, first aid, land navigation and radio communications, as well as introductions to shelter operations. In May, recruits put those classes into practice, with a leadership reaction course and urban land navigation exercise. Recruits also had the opportunity to earn the Physical Fitness Ribbon.

While many recruits hailed from 2RGT, the course included participants from other Army Component outfits, as well as the Air Component, Medical Brigade and Maritime Regiment. SSG Angie Ogle, an instructor from TXSG J-3, said the group’s diverse unit assignments strengthened the platoon.

“They came together as a cohesive unit despite being from different units and branches,” Ogle said.  “That ability to work together embodies what the TXSG is about.“

That cohesiveness was evident in the platoon’s teamwork. With the famed Gonzales flag as its guidon, the platoon adopted the Texas Revolution  slogan “Come and take it” as its motto, and worked together outside of class to prepare for the written examination covering all RBOT courses. For the first time in the history of the RBOT program, all recruits passed the test on the first try.

CSM Richard Chamberlain, Commandant of the 2RGT RBOT program, praised the NCOs from his regiment who served as instructors.

“Most of the cadre from the 2nd are graduates of the course, so they know both sides of the coin,” Chamberlain said. “They want the soldiers to be successful and push themselves to accomplish challenges they didn't believe they could.”

One of those soldiers was PV2 Cody Allen, who overcame a fear of public speaking to serve as a squad leader and platoon leader. Allen credited the RBOT program with giving him a new level of confidence.

“RBOT was the most rewarding experience that I have personally been through,” Allen said. “I gained something most special - a bond with the brothers and sisters that I have worked and trained with.”

Color Guard Honors Memorial Day At Local Church

Story by:  Staff. Sgt. Eddie Thomas

Posted: June 19, 2015

Flag folding

Flag folding
In honor of Memorial Day Sgt. Joe Gahm and Staff Sgt. Eddie Thomas, 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment, performs a flag folding ceremony at Garner Baptist Church, Garner, Texas, May 24, 2015.  The TXSG provides Color Guard service at many community events in North Texas as part of its mission "Texans Serving Texans."  (Photo courtesy of the Texas State Guard/Released)
Every Memorial Day Garner Baptist Church, Garner, Texas, holds a special service to honor veterans in their  congregation and family members who have served their country in the military. This past Memorial Day, May 24, 2015, the Color Guard, 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment, performed flag folding honors at the church.  This is the fourth consecutive year that the Color Guard has assisted the church on Memorial Day.  
 
At this ceremony, Staff Sgt. Eddie Thomas and Sgt. Joe Gahm, 2nd Battalion, 4th
Regiment, were assisted by LTC Joe Henry Kelly, U.S. Army, Sgt. Brandon P. Blackburn, U.S. Army, and Master of Arms Clint Weed, U.S. Navy.  
 
Jon Blackburn, pastor of Garner Baptist Church, told his congregation that "I've pastored many churches across this great country, including churches near some of our largest military installations, and never had a congregation with so many military  members, past or present, in its family."

"It's a privilege to be able to provide flag services to such a patriotic church that honors our military," Thomas commented.  "Garner Baptist really understands the meaning of Memorial Day."

 

Flag folding
Sgt. Joe Gahm hands the folded flag to Lt. Col. Joe Henry Kelly, U.S. Army during a flag folding ceremony at Garner Baptist Church, Garner, Texas, May 24, 2015. This is fourth consecutive year that the 4th Regiment has provided this service to Garner Baptist Church. (Photo courtesy of the Texas State Guard/Released)

Texas State Guard 2nd Regiment renders final salute

Story by:  1st Lt. Ernesto C. Garcia

Posted:   June 19, 2015

final salute
Soldiers from the 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, and Texas Army National Guard, render a "final salute" to U.S. Army soldier and Korean War veteran PV2 Lovry Davenport in a ceremony at the Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery, Pflugerville, Texas, May 25, 2015.  Sfc. Matt Allen, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, presents a U.S. Flag to Davenport's daughter.  The Texas State Guard honors veterans by participating in military ceremonies and community events. (Texas State Guard photo by 1st Lt. Ernesto C. Garcia/ Released)

AUSTIN, Texas – On Memorial Day, soldiers from the Texas State Guard and the Texas Army National Guard honored U.S. Army soldier and Korean War veteran, PV2 Lovry Davenport (deceased), by presenting the United States Flag to his family in a ceremony at the Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery, Pflugerville, Texas, May 25, 2015.  The Texas State Guard honors veterans by participating in military ceremonies and community events.  

Texas State Guard 2nd Regiment Sfc. Matt Allen learned that a close friend had recently lost her father in Illinois.  Since the daughter lived in Texas, Allen decided to have the service of PV2 Davenport honored in Texas.  "This honorably discharged veteran deserves our recognition here where his family lives," Allen commented, "because We are Texans Serving Texans."

Allen arranged to have the Davenport family meet at the cemetery on Memorial Day. At the ceremony, the soldiers folded the flag into the symbolic tri-cornered shape, similar to the tri-cornered hats worn by colonial soldiers during the American Revolution in 1776.  The red and white stripes are folded into the blue, symbolizing the light of day fading into the darkness of night. The blue field of white stars is the top of the folded flag.

Allen placed the flag in a display case as a keepsake for Davenport's daughter and  presented the flag to his friend on behalf of a grateful nation as a token of appreciation for PV2 Davenport's honorable and faithful service. He then rendered a final salute.

Soldiers in the formation are Texas State Guard 2nd Regiment Staff Sgt. Jason M. Myers, Sgts. Don E. Walden and Christopher L. Gano, and Spc. James D. Waddington, Headquarters Sgt. Maj. Dewayne D. Naumann, and Army Component Command Sgt. Maj. Morris W. Hickman, and Texas Army National Guard Sgt. Julian A. Quinones. 

TEXAS STATE GUARD 2nd REGIMENT AND BUGLER ASSISTS VFW ON MEMORIAL DAY

Story by:  1st Lt. Ernesto C. Garcia

Posted:   June 3, 2015

TXSG at VFW ceremony
Texas State Guard soldiers from the 2nd Regiment served as the Honor Guard along with the Capital City VFW Post 8787, Austin, Texas, at the VFW Memorial Day ceremony the Cook-Walden/ Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville, Texas, May 25, 2015.  Sgt. Maj. Morris Hickman, 2nd Regiment, had the honor to play taps.  The  Texas State Guard serves the people of Texas during natural or man-made disasters and assists communities during local events. (Texas State Guard photo by 1st Lt. Ernesto C. Garcia/Released)

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas State Guard paid tribute to the fallen soldiers on Memorial Day at  the Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville, Texas, May 25, 2015.  At the request of the Capital City VFW Post 8787, located in Austin, Texas, soldiers of the 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, participated in the VFW Memorial Day ceremony. One soldier from the 2nd Regiment, Sgt. Maj. Morris Hickman, had the honor to play taps.

When members of VFW Post 8787 needed assistance with their 2015 Memorial Day Celebration, they turned to their own VFW bugler, Hickman, to see if the Texas State Guard was available. Hickman has been playing the bugle since 1966 since his service with the U.S. Navy from 1962 to 1968 where he worked in communications and as a diver.

The 2nd Regiment was honored to help with the ceremony. The soldiers presented the colors, served as an honor guard, assisted various military organizations that placed wreaths around the cemetery, and the fired three volley salute. The last part of the ceremony was when Sgt.Maj. Hickman played taps.
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The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of the United States is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of about 1.9 million members.  The VFW advocates for U.S. veterans, by working to ensure that veterans and their loved ones are recognized for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of our great nation.

Since 1868, Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) is the federal holiday that honors soldiers who have died in military service to the United States.