Over a month ago, a former Army Staff Sergeant contacted my Battalion to request an Army color guard for a local event. After checking with the legal office, my command okayed our participation, and I secured the assistance of three other volunteer NonCommissioned Officers to perform the drill duties. I really didn't know much about the event, or the organization... but now I wish I did, and I would have publicized it to the entirety of our unit.

Only after the event did I find this on the net, a rough description of the actual event, and of course the official website of the WWP. I met several of the local WWP reps, including the former SSG Wes Higgins whom I had been in touch with on the phone. I donated $30 cash (which is less than I thought I might) and grabbed a WWP t-shirt that they offered us. It's tan, so I went ahead and wore it under my ACUs for the rest of the afternoon.

The atmosphere was relaxed, and we experienced the same style of Texas hospitality that we've become accustomed to: "Thank you for your service." "Thank you for everything that you do." And they heated up some leftovers from the previous evening to get us some lunch, just to make up for our misunderstanding, since it was only intended to be an evening meal, and they certainly didn't charge us for it. They even fed the family members of the soldiers that had come with us (myself and one other Sergeant who simply tagged along being the only ones without spouses and children in tow: a total of three wives and seven children).

The actual ceremony for the presentation of the colors went well enough; we're practiced enough at it that it went by almost too quickly, so that I almost felt that we didn't do enough. Still, that wasn't what it was about. The event was great, with (as near as I can figure) somewhere between 50 and 100 riders entered (to the tune of $100 a head). I'm sure there was a fair amount of money raised for the various WWP programs.

The three soldier families that came up left at various times, usually due to the insistence of the children. There were no more free horse rides once the event began, you see (a kind participant offered the use of his own horse so the children could get some saddle time shortly after we had gotten there). I stayed along with the Sergeant First Class who came simply to spectate until a small storm rolled in; we figured once they stopped roping, we could safely stop watching. The storm blew over quick enough, I'm sure, but she had a different social engagement that evening anyway and I was supposed to get the van back by supper.

It was a great event, and I was already looking forward to next year's before we had even departed this one. Perhaps by then I'll have an answer to a question that has been bothering me since yesterday: What do you say to a pretty cowgirl who has just introduced you to her horse?

on Sep 30, 2007
"Nice horse! Would your horse allow you to teach me how to ride?"

call me for lunch tomorrow. I am out of here Tuesday. I don't have your new #
on Oct 01, 2007
call me for lunch tomorrow. I am out of here Tuesday. I don't have your new #

Crap. I did language training during lunch today, and I'm due for more tomorrow. I'm really sorry I missed you, Geez.