|1. ASSOCIATION RECORDS:
The Copies of our S-2/S-3 Staff Journals were purchased and were on display for our 16th Reunion in Spokane. They were all turned over
to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas for conversion to Computer Discs (CD), free of charge. Our photo albums and other records
are included. These discs are now available to members at a nominal charge. CONTACT JIM KNAFEL, our Treasurer for a copy.
Texas Tech University has an Active Viet Nam Archives program. Many of us will be called upon to add our Oral Histories to their
2. The Jumping Mustangs Assn decided to have a monument for the "Jumping Mustangs" at the Airborne and Special Forces Museum.
Donations were given by members to support this project. The monument indicates the Unit Crest, Airborne, Airmobile and Air Assault
badges, to honor all Jumping Mustangs. The monument was completed when the Museum opened in Fayetteville, NC on 17 August 2000.
A PAVER was purchased and was emplaced by November 2001.
See picture below
PHOTO OF JUMPING MUSTANG MONUMENT AT THE AIRBORNE & SPECIAL OPERATIONS MUSEUM IN
JUMPING MUSTANG PAVER WITH PAPPY LOUGHRAN STANDING BEHIND.
Above is a picture of the paver.
The picture of Pappy standing by the paver has somehow gotten
deleted from the site. If anyone has the picture and can get it scanned,
please send it the webmaster. Thank You.
Thursday, August 17, 2000
MUSEUM OPENING IS GRAND
By J.S. Newton, Staff writer.
After years of planning, millions of dollars and some frantic final days, downtown's new crown jewel opened to the public Wednesday.
Soldiers salute during the presentation of colors Wednesday at the grand opening of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum.
The Airborne & Special Operations Museum -- a $22.6 million joint venture between private groups and every kind of government
agency -- welcomed more than 3,000 eager visitors on its first day.
It is 90 percent complete, but museum leaders weren't about to wait. "It's been a long time, but we're finally there,'' said retired Gen.
James J. Lindsay, president of the museum foundation. ''It's a great day, a great day."
The grandness of the grand opening could be seen in the details. For instance, it took 16 dignitaries to cut 35 feet of maroon fabric at the
ribbon-cutting. The audience shone with stars -- military stars, that is: There were more than 35 active-duty and retired general officers at
the opening ceremony.
There were a dozen or so Golden Knight parachutists, a few of whom jumped and landed in the center of a circle of cheering onlookers.
There was also a former presidential candidate, Ross Perot, at the party. Organizers say Perot's $1 million donation helped make the
museum a reality.
Even anti-war protesters showed up, exercising their rights to assemble while men who had lost their limbs in combat sat quietly by on the
museum's freshly sodded lawns.
Gen. Hugh Shelton, the nation's top military officer as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came, too. "Great nations need reminders,"
he said. "Reminders of what made them great in the first place."
There were congressmen, state senators and representatives and war heroes. There were stirring speeches liberally salted with quotes
from the likes of Ben Franklin. There were 76 reporters to witness the event.
And there was, most of all, a sense of accomplishment -- after years of planning and waiting, the community's dream of finding a grand
place to preserve this rich history had finally come to fruition.
"I have a deep feeling of emotion when I walk through here looking at the giants of our past,'' said Shelton after the ceremony. ''When all
the other pieces are completed here in just a few weeks, (visitors) will come and the word will spread that this is a tremendous facility."
The museum's history dates to 1982 when it was first discussed by representatives of the Fayetteville Area Chamber of Commerce and
Fort Bragg. The museum was to be on Fort Bragg, where there was even a ground breaking in 1996. But the project was delayed by rising
construction costs, and the city of Fayetteville eventually offered money to complete the project if the museum was moved downtown.
Ground was broken for the museum in June 1998. It was the same ground that had included a row of bars that had become part of
downtown's ugly image. The museum, its supporters said, promised a new day for Fayetteville. Hectic days For the final weeks leading up
to Wednesday, museum employees worked nearly around the clock to get the doors open.
"My staff has been working for the last month, pretty much seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day," said John Aarsen, the museum
curator. "Lots of details come together at the last minute."
The work must have paid off. Some visitors were moved by the 59,000-square-foot facility, which houses a hanging vintage airplane and
helicopter -- and a tank. Huge glass windows cast bullets of streaming light on the giant entrance room. A mannequin of a falling
paratrooper hangs suspended in time from the bright white steel rafters of the museum's freshly painted ceiling.
"You have really done a great job," Perot said after walking through the museum. "I am always concerned any time I get involved with
something like this that it be done properly. It couldn't be done better."
Speaking to the veterans and active-duty troops in the audience, Perot said Americans should not take their freedom for granted.
"People have made sacrifices for our freedom ever since day one,'' he said. ''And I am honored to be in the same place with the people
who are making those sacrifices."
The museum still has nearly $4.5 million to raise to finish its fund drive. Officials from Boeing aircraft company presented a $100,000
check Wednesday to help remind people that the museum's work is not yet complete. U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes said the museum is sure to
be a boon to the local economy. "I think it will do extremely well," he said.
Retired Lt. Gen. William Yarborough, who is one of the pioneers of the Army's Airborne and Special Operations forces, said the museum
inspired him. "I'm very impressed," he said. "I think this thing is going to be an inspiration to not only the civilian community but
certainly the young soldiers who march through it. It's magnificent. I've never seen anything finer."