AUSA NATIONAL NEWS
CHAPTER NEWSLETTER- January 2024
Happy New Year to all and I hope the holiday season and start to 2024 has been a blessing for all of you. As I type this newsletter today, I am thrilled to see the sun shining again and temperatures reaching the 60’s. A definite nice change from the last few weeks. This newsletter is much shorter than the previous ones as I wanted to ensure I got some much-needed thanks out to certain people as well as provide key dates for upcoming events so you can get them on your calendars. Your Chapter remains very busy as we provide support for our Soldiers, DA Civilians, Retirees, Veterans and their Families throughout the Central Texas area and I encourage you to reach out to me with additional ideas and opportunities where we can truly make a difference. As I’ve stated in the past, we are better together, so come out and be a part of your Chapter whenever possible.
Below are just a few of the highlights that have occurred during these past 3 months. Your Board of Governors and Committee Chairs continue to excel as they plan and execute these events, so please thank them when you get the chance because none of this would happen without their dedicated efforts.
Vietnam Veteran Pinning Ceremony – 10 November 2023
On 10 November your Chapter was honored to support the Holland ISD as they recognized 8 Vietnam Veterans. BoG member Cynthia Hernandez helped to set this up and a great team from the ISD and our Chapter did what our Nation should have done 50 years ago. In addition, we were able to recognize and thank for his service a WWII veteran and his family.
Second Annual BBQ Cookoff – 11 November 2023
Huge thanks go out again to Austin Bitner and his team for another amazing BBQ Cookoff. There were 42 teams who competed in this event, and I can attest the entries in all four categories were simply delicious. Every person who had the chance to sample or score the submissions were quick to say, “Wow” or “This is amazing!” or even “OMG!!”. Suffice to say it was a great competition as these awesome BBQ specialists came from across TX to challenge our taste buds and we were not disappointed. A special thanks to the leadership from Ft Cavazos who came out to participate in the “tasting” and award presentation, as well as to the Soldiers who put together a display and also participated in the judging. Congrats to the winners and we look forward to next year!
Wreath Prep, Laying and Retrieval – 18 & 25 November 2023, 13 January 2024 For the past 16 years, the Wreaths for Veterans have honored Service Members and their spouses who are buried at the Central Texas Veterans Cemetery. This year members of your Chapter were able to participate in the prep, laying and retrieval of wreaths for the over 17,000 sites. Our Chapter is blessed to be responsible for Section 3 at the Cemetery and the team did a superb job this year. A special thanks to Kelly Brown for coordinating our efforts and a shout out to the JROTC cadets who supported this special event at all three parts. I encourage you to make this an annual event as we honor those who have served their Nation!
Semi Annual Front Gate Cleanup – 9 December 2023 Twice a year, members of the Central Texas Community and leaders and Soldiers from Ft Cavazos join with your AUSA Chapter at the Welcome Center to clean up the entrance to Ft Cavazos at the Main Gate and also at the East Gate. This year we were blessed to have LTG Bernabe and CSM McDwyer, along with their spouses, and over 100 Soldiers, JROTC Cadets, Community Partners and family members dedicate their time to clean up the entrance and exit roads show that those who entered Ft Cavazos would see that this was truly “The Great Place”!!
As we start the next few months, I encourage you to support the Chapter by attending, volunteering, or getting the word out to others about upcoming events. Your Chapter stays very busy, and we appreciate any and all assistance. I also want to welcome to our Board of Governors the new members who have graciously volunteered to be a part of our Chapter leadership. Their support to the Community and especially to our Soldiers and their Families is much, much appreciated. Please join me in welcoming Dr Michelle Carter, Hank Perry, Jose Segarra, Rusty Stewart, and Whitney Theriot.
Below are some near term events that we hope you can join us for and click on the Events tab for more information and opportunities.
Annual Golf Tournament – 8 March at Clear Creek Golf Course on Ft Cavazos
JROTC Skills Meet – 23 March at Abrams Gym on Ft Cavazos
BoG Bi-Monthly Meeting – 27 March at Lonestar Conference Center (Sam Adams)
Community Partner Dinner (tentative) – 11 April at the KCCC (Gen Rainey, Army Futures Command, will be the Guest Speaker (tentative))
BoG Bi-Monthly Meeting – 22 May at Lonestar Conference Center (Sam Adams)
Annual Scholarship Luncheon – 3 June at Central Texas College
Annual Awards Banquet – 27 June at Big Hoss BBQ
As always, I want to personally thank you all for your tremendous support for our Soldiers, their Families, our retirees and veterans, and the DA Civilians across the Central Texas area. I encourage you to continue to tell the Army Story whenever you
can and also why you support AUSA. Let others know who we are, what we do, and the importance of being a part of this great organization. And if the opportunity is right, encourage them or their organization to become members as well! I look forward to
meeting with many of you in the months ahead and I wish you all the best.
Be All You Can Be!!!