NY National Guard Welcomes 42nd Infantry 'Rainbow' Division Veterans to Capital District
NEW YORK STATE MILITARY HISTORY MUSEUM, SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (07/12/2012)(readMedia)-- Combat veterans who served under the same battle flag but separated by 60 years of service gather here to kick off the 92nd annual reunion for veterans of 42nd Infantry Division.
Known throughout the Army as the Rainbow Division, the veterans of WWII lived up to their reference as the "greatest generation," liberating the notorious Concentration Camp Dachau on April 29, 1945 during their drive to liberate Europe in the final months of WWII.
Sixty years later, the Army National Guard Soldiers of the Rainbow Division became the nation's "latest generation" in their service to central Iraq, building capabilities of Iraqi security forces and helping to see the successful Iraqi constitutional referendum vote in October 2005.
WHAT: Opening ceremony of the 92nd annual Rainbow Division Veterans Memorial Foundation reunion. The first reunion was held for WWI veterans of the division on July 14, 1920.
WHO: More than 70 veterans of all eras of the 42nd Infantry Division, along with family members.
WHEN: 6 pm, Thursday, July 12
WHERE: New York State Military Museum, 61 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Imagery and interviews of WWII and Iraq war veterans, meeting for the opening ceremonies of the annual Rainbow Division Veterans Memorial Foundation reunion. Veterans and their families, both locally and from across the country, will be available to speak about the importance of the veteran reunions and the passing of the division legacy to today's Citizen Soldiers.
The 2012 annual reunion of the Rainbow Division Veterans Memorial Foundation runs from Thursday, July 12 through Saturday, July 14. The annual event marks the first battle of the 42nd Division in World War I, when on July 15, 1918 the division, acting as part of the 4th French Army, assisted in containing the final German offensive at the Battle of Champagne. The July anniversary also commemorates the reactivation of the division for service in World War II, when thousands of Soldiers reformed the division at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma for service in Europe.
Today, the 42nd Infantry Division serves as part of the New York Army National Guard, based in Troy, N.Y. The division headquarters overseas the training and preparations for combat or disaster response of some 14,000 Soldiers across five states, including New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
This year's reunion brings together hundreds of WWII veterans, their legacy families and modern-era veterans of the 42nd Infantry Division.
The chairman of the foundation, retired Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto, is the former Adjutant General of the New York National Guard and past commander of the 42nd Infantry Division, including the division's combat deployment to Iraq in 2005.
Additional reunion events available to the Capital District news media will be available on Friday and Saturday evenings.
42nd Infantry Division veterans (from left) Sidney Shafner, Burchard Neet, Richard Marowitz, and Frederick Krinkler reunite at the Rainbow Division Veterans Foundation's Annual Reunion on July 12, 2009 in Dayton, Ohio to recall their past experiences while serving together during WWII. The four veterans were part of the 222nd Infantry Regiment's Intelligence and Reconaisssance platoon as scouts who led fellow troops in the liberation of Dachau in April 1945. Photo by Spc.Rachel Sanzo, 42nd Infantry Division.
New York Army National Guard Capt. Benjamin Tupper, from the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters listens to stories of Rainbow Division veterans Vassil Evanoff from Bloomington, Minn. and Ivan Wallace from Pinetta, Fla. during the Rainbow Division Veterans Foundation's Annual Reunion on July 11, 2009 in Dayton, Ohio. The two men served in the 222nd Medical Battalion during WWII. Photo by Spc.Rachel Sanzo, 42nd Infantry Division.