REUNION 2014 - THE CHICAGO/NORTHBROOK HILTON - SEPT 25-28 - Click Here for Registration Form and Transportation Information

President's Message


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 Regiment Association


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 Email, today!

VA Suicide Prevention ► 1, 2, Many Project

More than 8,000 Veterans per year take their own lives. On average, that’s 667 per month, 154 per week, 22 per day, or one Veteran every 65 minutes. A lesser-known statistic is that more than half of these Veterans are 50 years or older. In the past two years, much ado has been made about Veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries—and rightfully so. For an increasing number of Veterans, the sense of urgency for wellness is steadily increasing and beginning to trump their fears or perceived shame of asking for help.

Why are so many Veterans in crisis? For many of these heroes, there were no ticker tape parades, pomp and circumstance, or welcome home celebrations. While their reasoning is varied, many Veterans and family members continue to struggle with behavioral health challenges, a dissociative sense of belonging, and untimely or unavailable medical care. As a retired U.S. Air Force member and former Air Force special agent, Timothy Lawson investigated numerous Veteran suicides. Though many Veterans authored suicide notes and wills, some did not. Others replaced the notes with final telephone calls or goodbye emails. Common responses from family members included: “I just thought he/she was going through a rough spot,” or “Why didn’t his/her friends or supervisors intervene to help?”

So, how do we battle this epidemic? Marine veteran Lawson created the “1, 2, Many Project” and corresponding podcast to provide a powerful, in-depth focus on why Veterans consider, attempt and succeed in ending their own lives. Veterans participating in the project convey greater visibility and understanding of the issue, as they “walk” Tim through their decision-making processes, suicidal ideations and attempts. Furthermore, friends and loved ones relay their innermost feelings, daily struggles, and coping strategies in processing the sudden and seemingly unexplained deaths of Veterans closest to them. Most importantly, listeners learn how they and others can recognize, engage and act to assist Veterans in need. To learn more about the 1, 2, Many Project, visit, on Facebook at 1, 2, Many Project, or via Twitter at [Source: VAntage Point | Corey Christman | Aug 15, 2014 ++]


   Cacti Ball - 67 Sponsored

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!"

2014 Cacti Scholarship Awards

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, KIA 3/21/1967

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 your life.

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 Dedication Ceremony


The Winter 2013-2014 Issue of the Cacti Times, John Lorts, Editor and Bill Henson, Associate Editor, is out.

Here's a sample of page one of this issue. If you haven't seen the electronic color version Click 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 Sign Up.

Vietnam KIA Photos Needed

Dick Arnold, 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 Email address.



Vietnam 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 address