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    The 36th Infantry Division Honors Veterans Across the State of Texas

    The 36th Infantry Division Honors Veterans Across the State of Texas

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Suzanne Ringle | The 36th Infantry Division Marching Band participated in the halftime show at the...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. Michael Leslie 

    36th Infantry Division (TXARNG)

    Schools across Texas honored service members for Veterans Day by showing their support through programs and remembrance. The 36th Infantry Division was there to say thank you and give back to the veterans who came before them.

    Maj. Gen. Lee Henry, 36th Infantry Division Commanding General, spoke at Needville High School during an event that honors veterans, as many of them truly understand the work and dedication it takes to be a service member.

    “Veterans, both past and present, I ask you to stand,” said Henry. “Ladies and gentlemen, look around you. Our veterans represent the best of America.” Many in the crowd were standing.

    “It touched my heart,” said Jeff Cotton, a Navy veterans and lieutenant with the Bellaire Police Department. “It made me proud to be a part of what our country still is.”

    There were also future Soldiers at the event. Needville student, Hunter Garcia recently enlisted as a public affairs specialist and was inspired by Henry’s speech.

    “It made me feel proud to be newly enlisted to hear from a major general about Soldiers who are currently in action,” said Garcia.

    “Let us together honor the brave men and women of the Fighting 36th, who are serving in Puerto Rico, Africa, the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan and other troubled locations around the globe,” said Henry.

    Another event was held at Cook Elementary School in Austin, where the principal is also a member of the 36th Infantry Division Band. Sgt. 1st Class Framy Diaz delighted his students by bringing a woodwind quintet and a rhythm and blues band to the school.

    The band’s performance was a way to give back to his staff while he was activated for Hurricane Harvey flood relief efforts.

    “It is a way to thank my staff for keeping things running while I was serving during Harvey relief,” said Diaz.

    Another event honoring veterans took place at Lake Travis High School with the division’s band playing side by side with the school’s band. Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and conflicts in the Middle East stood and were recognized by everyone in attendance.

    Lifting spirits was next on the list as the 36th Inf. Div. Band’s brass quintet played at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School for a special service in the campus chapel.

    “I think it’s really good to be a part of the Army, still be able to support our veterans and do events like this,” said Spc. Andrew Smith, a tuba player from Taylor. “It helps people be aware of what we do and it’s great to be able to help lift the spirits of Soldiers and veterans.”

    “When I’m about to start singing the national anthem, the very first thing I notice is when everyone is standing up,” said Sgt. Carlos Meda, vocalist, tuba and guitar player for the band.

    “I admire how everyone knows exactly what to do. I can spot the veterans in the audience either by what they are wearing or the position they stand in,” said Meda.

    Meda also believes that the national anthem brings everyone together.

    “The best feeling is when the audience starts singing along because I know that no one is thinking about anything else except for those lyrics,” said Meda, “We are in tune together. We have each other’s attention.”

    The final event of the weekend was in San Marcos at the Texas State University football game where the division’s marching band played side by side with the university’s marching band at halftime.

    The dual marching bands played a medley of each military branch’s service song with the division’s bandmaster conducting.

    “I consider it a real honor to be the band’s commander,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeffrey Lightsey, “They are great troops who represent the 36th Inf. Div. throughout the year and are committed to being the best at what they do.”

    Lightsey also said that he enjoys being a Citizen-Soldier as it makes him proud to be working with students in his Soldier role.

    “As a public educator in my civilian job, working with students is a true bonus during special events like this,” Lightsey said, “It is fun talking, sharing and mentoring them.”

    Veterans Day began as a remembrance of the end of World War I, “The Great War,” when the armistice was signed on November 11th, 1918.

    “We don’t mark this day each year as a celebration of victory,” said Henry, “but rather, as a celebration of those who made victory possible. We keep the story of their sacrifice alive through our remembrance”

    - 30 –



    Date Taken: 11.11.2017
    Date Posted: 11.13.2017 15:34
    Story ID: 255184
    Location: AUSTIN, TX, US 
    Hometown: AUSTIN, TX, US
    Hometown: DALLAS, TX, US
    Hometown: FORT WORTH, TX, US
    Hometown: HOUSTON, TX, US
    Hometown: NEEDVILLE, TX, US
    Hometown: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US
    Hometown: SAN MARCOS, TX, US

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