It was a cold wet day on Nov. 12, 2019 when the Tallassee National Guard had a get-together at the Ft. Piper Armory in Tallassee. A lot of the people were in their 70s and 80s. Thanks to Alan Rigsby and a few others, they decided to have a breakfast for the retired and former members of the Tallassee units. About 150 men and women showed up on this cold morning.
While some of the men cooked, others mingled around and hugged, shook hands, laughed and told stories of days of old. I saw people I hadn't seen since the days of Christmas parties when we got back from Desert Storm in 1991. Everything started with do you remember the time when we and then the tales and remembering would begin. Memories were revived that had been hidden in the back of our minds for at least 29 years.
One thing I missed and maybe we will have the next time we get together is I think the wives of the deceased members should be invited. We had about seven to die in a short period after we got home from Desert Storm. Let me add this was a great start to things to come according to Mr. Rigsby a retired officer in the Tallassee units of National Guard. We had the sole remaining member of our cooks in attendance. Many of our fellow soldiers have had severe sickness and loss of loved ones in those years but overall most of them said life had been good. One man said to me that Desert Storm was the ultimate in his life. We went, we knew our job, we performed our job and we were successful.
It was a proud day and time and now it is a time to reminisce and reflect on the things we did and the job performed. This is true from Korea to the present day. We started with no armory just meeting at the Tallassee old gym, then an armory was built. It is now the city shop; another armory was built and that building now houses the Tallassee Recreation Department.
Later and I can't remember the year but I do remember it was one of the coldest days in history for that day. We dedicated the present armory and that is where we met today. Up until a few years ago the 731st and 158th was made up almost entirely local men and women but that is no longer true. The present guard is made up of people from everywhere.
In those days we were proud of the Tallassee Guard history and this was evident in the get-together we had at the breakfast. As I looked around at the retirees I noticed that a lot of them were no longer clean shaven but had mustaches and beards and without exception they were all a white grayish color. If I could make one more suggestion and that is we all wear big name tags the next time we meet. Wear them big enough that we won't have to get up close and squint to read who you are. I was recognized by most but a few made the mistake of calling me by the wrong name. If you were there and I didn't get the opportunity to see you and shake your hand, I apologize. I wanted to say hi to everyone there. After all that is what a get-together is all about. Then there are those that were new members when I retired. I suggest now to all of you young men, join one of our services when you get out of high school then if you don't stay full time, find you a guard unit and serve with them. It doesn't seem like it now but take my word for it, 20 years goes by mighty fast.
That get-together made my day and I thank all who allowed me to be part of it.