This Veteran’s Day I had the honor of being able to act as a liaison for Mr. Oresko at the Veteran’s Day parade in New York City. At age 94, Mr. Oresko was ordered by his doctor not to attend the parade. That didn’t seem to deter him much. After all, Mr. Oresko almost single handedly cleaned out several bunkers full of Nazis during the Battle of the Bulge. The cold weather wasn’t about to keep him away. The last ten or so blocks of the parade, Mr. Oresko felt up to getting out of the vehicle for a bit and was pushed down 5th Avenue by his friends and caretakers. People cheered and clapped as the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient passed them, I think everyone was really in awe of this man.
Later that night, I was able to attend a dedication ceremony for the Horse Soldiers monument. As the ceremony went on, I kept squinting my eyes, not sure if I was seeing right. Sure enough, one of the Special Forces soldiers in attendance was a guy I served with in 5th SFG. He’s a Team Sergeant now and there isn’t a better guy for the job. Unfortunately, the Vice-President decided to use the opportunity to tell personal accounts of his own experiences in Afghanistan rather than focus on the troops involved in OEF1, the horse soldiers themselves.
Here is a picture of the Horse Soldiers monument. The sculptor did a really amazing job, and in record time! A project like this normally takes two or three years but he got it done in something like six months in time for Veteran’s Day. Sorry for the poor quality of the picture, if readers are interested I will go and take some better shots of the statue when it is put on display.
Kit Up! contributor Jack Murphy is a former Ranger, Special Forces Soldier and is the author of the military thriller Reflexive Fire.