I recently returned from Washington
DC to walk the last mile with a former 3/5 Cav Trooper and his observer,
Capt. Jon Edward Swanson and Larry Harrison, where their remains were interned
in Arlington National Cemetary in a common grave with our Nations' highest
honors. The best way I can describe it was heart tugging and AWSOME. The
BLACK KNIGHTS were represented by General Hugh Bartley (USA Ret), Raoul
Alcala, Vern Delaware, Ron Dohanish, Allen DeCook, John Shields, and myself.
There were also representatives from the 1st Cavalry Division that included
Joe Gallaway and two MEDAL OF HONOR recipients.
In the new Fort Myers chapel, Brigid
Jones spoke on behalf of her father Capt. Jon E. Swanson that was outstanding.
Brigid and her sister Holly are his two surviving daughters. Prior to this,
I was introduced to Army Chief Of Staff General Eric K. Shinseki by Roy
Alcala who walked over to where we were sitting inside the chapel. The
General spoke with us momentarily as a fellow BLACK KNIGHT. We are hoping
he will attend our reunion and Memorial Monument dedication next year.
He was a real human being and a good man. See Note
When the internment ceremonies were
concluded, the Swanson family invited us to lunch with them. They are a
wonderful family. Everyone was sharing stories and introducing each other.
It felt like we were all one big happy family. Sandee Swanson and her two
daughters were as sweet and gracious as they could be. We got to talk with
Jon's brother Andy and his two sisters. I can't say enough about this family
except I'm glad that they all now have closure after waiting 31 years.
I hope they all come to our reunion next year.
I want to take this opportunity to
leave the D-Troopers with some food for thought. I'm not trying to sell
anything or offer you anything that you don't already have except more
fellow proud troopers from the best Squadron the Cavalry ever fielded.
I believe that if Jon would of survived, he would of felt like Ace Cozzalio,
Roger Hinen, myself, and the rest of the Squadron. And that is that we
stay together as a unit instead of splintering up. We went over as a whole
unit and returned as a whole unit. What happened in between was none of
our faults. This is not to say discontinue the yearly D-Troop gatherings
in Atlanta because I and others think it is great. We would like to see
many as D-troopers as possible at our reunion next year for our Memorial
Monument Dedication which will be the first of its kind. We made alot of
history together. The only thing different about D-troop was their equipment.
We are all BLACK KNIGHTS of the BASTARD CAV. The rest of your brothers
would like to meet you. When everyone else forgot about D-Troop, we never
did. For those D-Troopers that did not get the word, you are all authorized
to wear three Presidentional Unit Citations. Saddle Up & Sound The
Keeping us together, together,
BROTHERS IN ARMS