Cacti veteran returns to 1st duty assignment 49 years later

| December 29, 2014 | 0 Comments
Retired Army Lt. Col. Frederick Sheaffer points out the men who commanded the Cacti Regiment while he was assigned to the regiment from 1963 to 1966 during his visit to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, "Cacti," 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. It was Sheaffer's first time back to the unit in 49 years. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Retired Army Lt. Col. Frederick Sheaffer points out the men who commanded the Cacti Regiment while he was assigned to the regiment from 1963 to 1966 during his visit to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, “Cacti,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. It was Sheaffer’s first time back to the unit in 49 years. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Sgt. Brian C. Erickson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — In 1965 a gallon of gas was only 31 cents. The average cost of a new car was just over $2,000. It was also the last time, then a second lieutenant, Frederick Sheaffer of 35th Infantry Regiment, stepped foot in Charlie Quad on Schofield Barracks.

On Dec. 23, 1965, 2nd Lt. Frederick Sheaffer, got on a C141 bound for Vietnam, and never returned to Charlie Quad, home of the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

After nearly 49 years, the retired Army lieutenant colonel returned to his first duty assignment for a day of remembrance.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Frederick Sheaffer talks to Capt. Grant Stone, commander, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, "Cacti," 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, during his visit to the Cacti battalion. It was Sheaffer's first time back to the unit in 49 years. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Retired Army Lt. Col. Frederick Sheaffer talks to Capt. Grant
Stone, commander, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment,
“Cacti,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, during his visit
to the Cacti battalion. It was Sheaffer’s first time back to the unit in 49 years. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

“I am really impressed with what Lt. Col. (Ryan) O’Connor has done to make this a very memorable reconnection for me,” said Sheaffer.

In the morning he was able to visit the Cacti Headquarters and see the history of the unit.

When asked, he simply stated the importance of knowing the history of the organization.

“These Soldiers need to be proud to be a part of such an elite organization with a great history,” said Sheaffer.

The next stop was at Charlie Company, where Sheaffer spent time as a company executive officer before leaving for Vietnam.

“The command at C Company did a thorough job of showing us what kind of equipment a line company has today,” said Sheaffer.

Once he was done, the 20-year veteran was taken out to the range to meet the current battalion commander, Lt. Col. Ryan P. O’Connor. At this time, he was able to see how the Cacti Soldiers train today.

The last stop of the day was at the 25th Infantry Division Museum, here on Schofield.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Frederick Sheaffer looks at a mural of photos from the Vietnam War during his visit to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, "Cacti," 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. It was Sheaffer's first time back to the unit in 49 years. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Retired Army Lt. Col. Frederick Sheaffer looks at a mural of photos from the Vietnam War during his visit to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, “Cacti,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. It was Sheaffer’s first time back to the unit in 49 years. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Before leaving he shared his appreciation to the command for his trip

“They went above and beyond what I was expecting, I am very impressed,” said Sheaffer.

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