Contact: Lt. Col. Jackie Guthrie
Office: 608-242-3050 or Cell: 608-516-1777
NEWS: 32nd "Red Arrow" Division, Brigade commemorate Berlin Crisis
Date: October 19, 2011
By Staff Sgt. Michelle Gonzalez
112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Approximately 150 veterans of the 32nd "Red Arrow" Infantry Division and their guests joined Wisconsin National Guard leaders and Soldiers assigned to the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team at the 32nd Brigade headquarters in Camp Williams, Wis., Saturday (Oct. 15) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the year-long deployment spent in preparation for the 1961 Berlin Crisis.
The commemoration included historical displays, video footage from the mobilization, modern equipment displays, scrapbook sharing and culminated with a ceremony.
For many veterans, the event was an opportunity to reconnect with fellow service members and share their deployment experience from five decades ago to friends, family and current Red Arrow Guardsmen.
"I like to see the guys and reminisce," said Maum Rollie, a Soldier assigned to the 32nd Division's 732nd Ordinance Company from Tomah, Wis., as he looked over a display recounting a train crash he was a part of.
"There are so many of my friends in the 32nd who are gone," said George Rosholt, a mail clerk for Company A, 3rd Battle Group of the 127th Infantry from Milwaukee. "I'm lucky to be standing here today."
In September 1961, the 32nd Division received notice of possibly serving one year of active duty. The division began mobilizing October 15 of that year and reported to Fort Lewis, Wash., to train.
By February 1962, the division was declared Strategic Army Corps which meant the 32nd Division was prepared for joint Army and Air Force deployments to any trouble spot in the world on short notice.
"For that year, it was hell on earth for some Soldiers but after it all we were ready to deploy at a moment's notice," Rosholt said. "The Cuban Missile crisis happened shortly after the Berlin Crisis and I thought we'd be called again," he added.
During the ceremony, Wisconsin Guard leadership spoke to the differences between 1961 and 2011 Red Arrow Soldiers and applauded the service of 32nd Division veterans.
"Just like you did 50 years ago, Soldiers spend up to nine months on the ground executing the most difficult missions then come home and reintegrate like you did," said Col. Martin Seifer, 32nd Brigade commander. "They try to explain to their family and friends why they wanted to go back and in some cases why they even considered to serve."
"What you did was magnificent," said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin. "I'm proud to be associated with you. I'm proud to stand here with you and I thank you for your service."
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Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans