World War II veterans witness change for ‘Wolfhounds’

| September 8, 2011 | 0 Comments
Staff Sergeant Marco Vasquez (right), Company B, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, thanks World War II veterans in the Greatest Generations Foundation for their service following the battalion’s change of command ceremony, Sept. 1.

Staff Sergeant Marco Vasquez (right), Company B, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, thanks World War II veterans in the Greatest Generations Foundation for their service following the battalion’s change of command ceremony, Sept. 1.

Story and Photos by

Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — A warm, tropical breeze greeted the many onlookers out to witness a time-honored tradition in any military organization, the changing of command.

Soldiers in 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, “Wolfhounds,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, joined with World War II veterans, from the Greatest Generations Foundation, during the passing of the mantle of leadership from Lt. Col. Donald Brown to Lt. Col. Todd Fox, here, Sept. 1.

The Greatest Generations Foundation is an organization that is focused on honoring veterans and educating generations, young and old, about the extraordinary history of wartime sacrifice and noble accomplishments.

Col. Malcolm Frost, commander, 2nd BCT, and reviewing officer for the ceremony, opened the event with a standing ovation for the World War II veterans in attendance.

“You proudly served our Army, our military and our nation; we’re honored to have you here,” he said. “Thank you so much for joining us today.”

Frost then talked about the rich history of the Wolfhound Bn. and the accolades Soldiers standing in formation had received.

“You truly are a group of extraordinary Soldiers and leaders,” he said. “Together, you operated in the home of Saddam Hussein … and conducted kinetic operations, which resulted in taking enemy contact nearly every week, and (you) made the enemy pay every time, all while under the command of Lt. Col. Brown.”

Lt. Col. Todd Fox (right), incoming commander, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID receives battalion colors from Col. Malcolm Frost, commander, 2nd BCT, during the battalion change of command ceremony, Sept. 1, at Weyand Field.

Lt. Col. Todd Fox (right), incoming commander, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID receives battalion colors from Col. Malcolm Frost, commander, 2nd BCT, during the battalion change of command ceremony, Sept. 1, at Weyand Field.

Brown served 30 months as commander of the Wolfhounds, where he implemented a rigorous training cycle at the Pohakuloa Training Center, on the Big Island, and the National Training Center, in Fort Irwin, Cali., to prepare the troops for their deployment to Iraq.

“I’m proud to have served among you and sad to give it all up,” he said. “Commanding you was the greatest honor I was accorded in my 18 years in the Army. … I can think of no greater battalion to have served with than the Wolfhounds.”

Fox said that taking command of the Wolfhound Bn., while World War II veterans witnessed the event, made it extra special.

“I’m honored to be joining an organization with the rich and proud history of the Wolfhounds,” he said. “It was made even greater by having the veterans there.”

Fox added his deep respect and honor for the sacrifices of the World War II veterans.

“Before the ceremony, I took the time out to thank each and every one of them for their service and their sacrifice, and I think it’s important for them to be here, because it’s ultimately their success they had in World War II that every Soldier in uniform today tries to emulate in their day-to-day functions,” Fox said.

Following the ceremony, Wolfhound Soldiers shook hands with the veterans and attended a special luncheon to share experiences and bond with one another.

“Coming to Schofield and visiting all the troops, meeting commanders and everyone wanting to know our story definitely made this trip worth it,” said Bruce Heilman, spokesman for the Greatest Generations Foundation. “Seeing the ceremony takes me back to days where I marched across fields.”

He enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II, at the age of 17.

“When I see the young warriors who volunteered during a wartime … you know they signed up with a willingness to defend their country, willingness to die for their country and fight for their country — that’s the spirit of those of us who fought in World War II,” Heilman said.

 

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