Many years ago for most of us and not
so many for some, we were sent to battle men who spoke different
languages and embraced different religions. Cultural differences aside,
there were similarities among all. Each of us had a family and in a
frightening sense, was on our own.
Regardless of where soldiers come from
or where they fought, war defines them. For us, it is the mold from
which our regimental association was formed 16 years ago. Today, it is
one of the largest in the country with nearly 1,000 active members, plus
Gold Star family members. Our strength is not in the numbers, but in the
individuals who provide so much support to the Association.
Past President Pete Birrow, B Co.
2/35, is the liaison to the active Battalion at Schofield Barracks. He
has kept us and the soldiers in Hawaii regularly informed about events
and shared both good and bad news from Cacti 6, now LTC Ryan O’Connor.
This has allowed members of the Association to mail support packages to
Cacti when deployed and send representatives to services for KIAs in
Iraq and Afghanistan and more recently, the funerals of Cacti killed in
vehicle accidents. Those who volunteer and many have, often travel
hundreds of miles to present family members of the deceased with letters
of condolence from our association.
On Memorial Day and dates in-between
visits are made to the grave sites of Cacti lost to war. It is personal
for those of us who served with those who gave their all. For those
unknown to today’s members, such as Korean War MIA CPL. Lucio Aguilar,
it also is personal. Lucio’s remains were repatriated to U.S. soil after
63 years and Doc Johnson and Roy Sittig attended his funeral in Corpus
Christi, TX. CPL Aguilar was a Cacti and in a sense, a part of all of us
was in his casket, as well.
Against this background of service by
members, the Board of Directors created the annual Tom Kehoe Service
Award after Tom’s death in 2009 to recognize the contributions of an
individual who exemplifies his selfless qualities. The 2014 recipient
will be announced at our September reunion. (Members of the Board of
Directors are not eligible for this award).
How far can we go as an Association?
That’s unknown. What we know is that a new generation of Cacti have
experienced war in Iraq and Afghanistan and served multiple combat
tours. Some will make the military their career, but most won’t. All
are Cacti. We hope that many will want to reconnect with those they
served with under conditions that helped define their character in a
place none can forget. This Association belongs to us all. It is home.
Join the rest of us and discover that for yourself.
Bill Henson, President 35th Infantry
Cacti Ball -
And an additional $720 donated that can
be used for overhead costs!
The Cacti Ball
2014 video can be seen by clicking the link below:
This program has been spearheaded by Pete Birrow.
Because of the generosity of Cacti like yourselves, 67 Active
Cacti were able to attend the Ball.
Many thanks to all who supported this
program. And a big Thank You to Pete for a successful campaign.
Pete is the 35th Infantry Regiment Association's
Liaison to our active duty 2-35th Infantry battalion, and a Past
President of the Association. His personal motto:
“Once You Have Been Pricked By
A Cacti, You Are A Cacti Forever!"
WAR STORIES SECTION
The War Stories Section has turned
into a huge success with almost 50 stories written by our Cacti Members. Got a “Cacti Story?” It can be a battle story, A funny or
sad story. Just put it down the way you remember it. If you want a
“creative license” to embellish a little you got it. Only rule is not
to be malicious. Submit them to Wiley "Tiny" Dodd by
Winter 2013-2014 Issue of the Cacti Times, John Lorts,
Editor and Bill Henson, Associate Editor, is out.
sample of page one of this issue. If you haven't
seen the electronic color version
Here to see what you're missing. Members wishing to change from
a Mailed to Emailed Times may email Don "Doc" Johnson, our Secretary, to
When it comes to generosity, no one
outperforms the Cacti Membership. Because we have so many who have given
for this very worthy cause, we have been able to increase our award
amounts from three $1,500 scholarships. We are pleased to announce this
years award recipients. They are:
Emory Bruno - Granddaughter of
Charles Emory, Battery C 2/9th Arty, FO attached to C Co 2/35th,
Jacob Chance - Grandson of
Vincent Lamonica, D Co 2/35th 1968-69
Karlee Jorgenson - Granddaughter
of Orville Hanson, HHC 1/35th 1952
Congratulations to these three
outstanding Cacti grandchildren. Our best wishes go with you throughout
Scholarship Committee - Wiley "Tiny" Dodd,
Mike Slyck, Bill Burdick, Bob Maves
35th Infantry Regiment Monument at Ft Benning Walk of Honor
Monument Dedication Photos Posted (View Here)
Follow the link below to view Video of the Monument
Doc Hall, and Pete Birrow have been gathering KIA Photos for a number of
years. Their work has added immensely to our mission to memorialize our
war dead. But we still need a few more.
Click Here to view a list of
Vietnam KIA photos needed. If you're a fellow Cacti, or a friend or family member,
please consider sending a photo to Dick Arnold at his
War - Gravesite Location Project
Doc Hall and Pete Birrow have
been compiling a list of gravesites for our Vietnam KIAs for some time now.
Through personal visits and searches on the web they have located
hundreds. The information is now available by
Clicking Here. If you have
personal knowledge of a gravesite not found on the list, please contact
Doc Hall at his Email