A spectacular ceremony marks the end of "CAV week" as Fort Hood celebrated 100 years of the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division.
It’s been 100 years since America’s first team was brought together, and today members of past and present got to celebrate a century’s worth of defending our nation.
The 'boom' of cannon fire kicked off the centennial ceremony, rich with pride that was on full display and felt by those in attendance.
"Just listening to all the heritage and the different campaigns the division has fought in, it makes me be just a proud member of America’s 'first team',” said lieutenant colonel Shay O’Neal, 1st Cavalry Division.
Not only were the current 1st Cavalry units standing at attention for viewers, but past units were also honored. Soldiers donned uniforms from battles long past, as they told the history of each war the uniforms represented.
It was a familiar sight to veterans that served in 1st CAV decades ago.
”I enlisted in the Army in December of '66. After basic training in March of '67, I deployed to Vietnam. Probably the finest unit I was ever in was the First Cav. And I was in the CAV twice,” said William Shepard, Vietnam Veteran.
It wasn’t just a day for veterans, it was a day honoring that honored those still serving and their families.
After the ceremony was over, everyone got a chance to visit tents and displays set up by the different 1st CAV units and learn a little more of the history. Others took the time to climb into some of the latest armored vehicles the division uses.
For some with families and small children, that was the best part of the event.
”This is a great experience to see the history of 1st CAV and be a part of this great tradition. Having the kids see the vehicles and get on and understand what we do in our daily life has been a great experience to get them out here,” said lieutenant colonel Patrick Sulivan, 1st Cavalry Division.
For some who served in the past and could make it to today’s celebration, it serves as a reminder that the 1st Cavalry Division is here to stay.
That rang especially for retired lieutenant colonel Miguel Juarez, who served close to 35 years in the Army and retired this year.
”We will always be here, standing guard in support and defense of the constitution. That's clear and we will never falter, and we will never fail in that mission,” said Juarez.
Whether folks were there for the ceremony or to let the kids climb on tanks, everyone said they were happy to celebrate 1st CAV’s 100th birthday.