Vietnam Veterans together for a Reunion on Fort Benning
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The men of the 7th Cavalry Regiment who fought alongside LT. General Hal Moore are together for their 57th reunion of the Battle of IA Drang Valley during the Vietnam War.
“There’s no other organization in the military that can say they’ve had this many reunions, that’s how tight this group was,” says Robert Hazen.
Hazen is one of four hundred and fifty-seven soldiers of the 7th Cavalry Regiment who fought in the bloody Battle of IA Drang Valley.
He was a radio telephone operator during the battle and says war is something that changes you as a human being.
“You know like they say about combat, it’s long periods of boredom and short periods of terror,” says Hazen.
Every year those who made it home from the war get together for a reunion at Fort Benning. Martin Latigue who served under Lt. Gen. Hal Moore in the 1st Battalion of the 7th cavalry says it’s a reunion of a brotherhood.
“It’s a reunion of brothers who know, ‘this man is why I’m alive, whatever he did contributed to me being alive because he had to fight’. This was a very intense battle and every man that’s here today is the reason why we’re all here because all of them contributed to their part on the battle field,” says Latigue.
Veteran Ronald Barrow looks forward to seeing everyone each year since this group lives up to the term, Band of Brothers.
“We were brothers, I mean we were over there fighting for the country, but we were fighting for each other,” says Barrow.
The 4-day reunion started Thursday and ends Sunday. During their stop at the National Infantry Museum, they were greeted by soldiers in training who are around the same age they were serving in Vietnam.
Medal of Honor recipient Walter Marm had a message for them:
“Just do the best you can and everything you do, and you will succeed.”
This year is a special reunion for the soldiers since their commanding general who they fought alongside is most likely the namesake of Fort Benning in the coming months.
Marm served under Lt. Gen. Hal Moore in the 1st Battalion of the 7th cavalry, he shares his thoughts the decision to rename Fort Benning.
“A lot of the bases in the south are going to be renamed, if that’s the plan I think naming it after General Moore and his wife is very special, this is their stomping ground,” says Marm.
Latigue also believes the renaming is fitting.
“Not only after the IA Drang Valley, but he (Moore) stayed in to help many soldiers, so, that would be a good symbol of the life of a solider. It should be named Fort Moore,” says Latigue.
The decision to rename Fort Benning will also honor General Moore’s wife, Julia, who Latigue says was a turn of the century officer’s wife, taking action to have more compassionate condolences for soldiers.
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