Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thanking our Troops (and Feeding Them Too!)

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has a profound and deep respect for our military men and women.  It also has fun with them, too.

Back in 2010, RMEF auctioned off outfitter-donated mule deer doe hunts for Purple Heart recipients at its Colorado banquets.  One of Colorado’s RMEF state chairs at the time, Brian Soliday, later helped guide the hunts and met CSM Dale L. Veneklasen.  The two struck up a friendship and a strong relationship started to form between RMEF and the 1st Squadron, 10th Calvary Regiment, a group historically known as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” 

The 10th Calvary Regiment got its “Buffalo Soldiers” moniker after the Civil War when the United States began its expansion westward into Indian Territory.  To protect settlers, the Regular Army Cavalry was increased by four regiments. One of those was the 10th Cavalry.  Originally made up of Negro volunteers, freed slaves from the South and some Civil War vets, the regiment successfully dealt with hostilities on the open plains from Oklahoma to Texas to Arizona.  The Buffalo Soldiers helped subdue Pancho Villa in Mexico, went ashore in Cuba in the Spanish-American War where members charged San Juan Hill alongside the "Rough Riders" of Teddy Roosevelt, and later joined American soldiers in World War II where the unit was inactivated.  Several year later, it was reorganized to fight in the Vietnam War and spent modern times carrying out several assignments in the Middle East.  Now, the 10th Calvary Regiment calls Fort Carson, Colorado, home.
From San Juan Hill to Iraq, the 10th Calvalry Regiment continues to serve our nation
Back to the present.  RMEF members in Colorado decided to honor the troops by holding a wild game barbeque as a sendoff for troops leaving for a tour of duty in Afghanistan.  They also agreed to do a welcome home barbeque.  On Tuesday July 17, 2012, committee members from the Canon City, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs and Denver chapters cooked for 1,000 people, including the entire 1st Squadron and their family members.  There was also a Safe Challenge event for 200 youth of the military families.  The gathering included an awards ceremony for commendations for the recent tour in Afghanistan.  Forty-four soldiers signed up for RMEF military memberships and one decided to become an RMEF volunteer.

RMEF members flip burgers for our troops at Fort Carson
Our thanks go out to the 1st Squadron and all of our military men and women, and their families, for their sacrifices in defending our great nation.

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