Sunday, August 14, 2005

A Texan Abroad

Being a Texan I love this...good for you MSGT Young. Thanks for your service!

U.S. Army
Master Sgt. Michael Young
Texan Flies Lone Star Colors

By 2nd Lt. Amy Bombassaro
National Guard Bureau

BABADAG TRAINING AREA, Romania, July 27, 2005 — A Texas flag that once flew over Texas National Guard Master Sgt. Michael Young's bunker in Vietnam now soars over the Task Force Raider Tactical Operations Command tent in Romania. The flag flies one last time before the fifth generation Texan retires from his 38-year military career in February.

Young and his fellow soldiers from Texas posted the colors to bring a Lonestar State ambiance to their operations at ROMEX 05.

ROMEX 05 is a bi-lateral exercise in the Babadag Training Area that includes tactical training and community development projects in Tulcea County communities near Constanta. U.S. and Romanian soldiers are integrated into combined units to train to work as cohesive multi-national forces.

Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Ray, brigade operations non-commissioned officer, said that he and Young talked about bringing the flag before they deployed.

“It seemed like the natural thing to do,” said Ray. “That way, it's traveled all over the world, to several continents.”

A formation of troops watched as Young and Spc. Samuel Moffett, both of Dallas, posted the colors. Approximately 650 members of the 71st Brigade Combat Team from armories across Texas are participating in the exercise, under the higher command of the 1st Armored Division.

“The flag is a symbol of the dynamics of our state,” said Young. “There's just something about Texas mystique.”

The flag originated in 1968 when a Dallas woman wrote a letter to the Dallas Times Herald in an effort to rally Texans to send the state's coveted symbol to troops in Vietnam. Young said the woman was a family acquaintance and sent him one herself. He was serving in the 403rd Terminal Transfer Transportation from Fort Bragg, N.C.

At that time, he posted it outside his supply operations tent and later on a 12-foot post over his bunker. The five occupants of the bunker, along with his company leadership, signed the flag, which has faded over the years. Young still stays in touch with some of his former comrades, and plans to attend a Vietnam reunion in Tennessee this September.

Master Sgt. Michael Young, ROMEX 05 mayoral superintendent, flew this Texas flag over his supply operations tent and later over his bunker while serving in the Vietnam War in 1968. The flag flies one last time before the fifth generation Texan retires from his 38-year military career. A formation of Texas National Guard troops watched as Young posted the colors over the Task Force Raider Tactical Operations Command July 14, 2005. U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Amy Bombassaro

When ROMEX 05 draws to a close Aug. 2, Young plans to invite his current fellow soldiers, some he's known for almost 20 years, to sign the flag before the unit redeploys. Ray is one of those soldiers.

“Master Sgt. Young means a lot to several of us here,” said Ray. “He’s a make-it-happen kind of guy — mission-oriented and soldier-oriented.”

During the exercise, Young serves as the mayoral superintendent in the Life Support Area. After the exercise, he'll return to his civilian profession as the facilities manager at Baylor College of Dentistry, Texas A&M Health Science Center in Dallas.



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