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‘Officers of 1st Div.’ org. to host 95th dinner

By 1ST INF. DIV. STAFF REPORT | April 17, 2014

The Officers of the First Division organization is hosting its 95th annual Officers Dinner April 26 in Virginia, as part of a weekend of activities for its members.

The Officers of the First Division are men and women who served with the 1st Infantry Division in combat as commissioned officers or warrant officers during World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom or at other combat locations during the War on Terrorism.

The mission of the organization is to perpetuate the memory of deceased veteran officers and Soldiers with the 1st Inf. Div. and to comfort their survivors; to sponsor and participate in patriotic activities; to provide social and recreational activities; and to organize ceremonial military events for its members.

Founded in 1919 after WWI, the dinner is on the last Saturday in April every year, with a program that remains largely unchanged – cocktails at 6 p.m., mess call at 7 p.m., regimental colors on display, former commanders on the dais, the band playing regimental marches, an update from the division’s current commanding general and a toast to fallen comrades, followed by “Taps.”

This year, each attending member is allowed one guest, who can be a spouse, child or someone with a close relationship to the division. Spouses, family members and friends are welcome to attend the chili luncheon April 26 and the cocktail reception prior to the dinner, and to join the veteran officers in the unit command posts that weekend.

This year’s dinner is at the Hilton Hotel, Alexandria Mark Center, Alexandria, Va.

“The weekend is a great opportunity to socialize with 1st Inf. Div. veterans from different eras who continue traditions that began with the first dinner in 1919,” said retired Lt. Col. Kevin West. “I enjoy renewing acquaintances with Vietnam veterans I have met over the years, as well as visit with fellow OIF and OEF veterans.”

The organization’s members continue to remember and honor the sacrifices of the generations who fought before them, West said, adding he hopes in another 95 years, “attendees will reflect on those sacrifices as well as ours.”

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