HOOAH! | Giving back to the 10th Mountain Division
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Hats off to Lauren Hickey and Elsa Corrigan, who recognize the courageous spirit of the 10th Mountain Division and cooked up a way to give back to those soldiers through the Wounded Warrior Project fund.Hickey, a patch collector, knows people who have 10th Mt. Div. patches and wanted to honor the division that developed from the escalating World War in 1940.Finnish troops whooped invading Soviet forces when they deployed on skis in 1939. President of the National Ski Patrol, Charles Minot Dole, lobbied the War Department in 1940 to train troops in mountain and winter warfare. An elite unit of military ski troopers was born. The 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) is a non-mechanized, light infantry division, currently part of the XVIII Airborne Corps.During World War II, thousands of ski patrollers, park rangers, hunting guides and mountain men answered the call nationwide to join the Division, including ski moguls from the Reno, Nev./Tahoe area. The 10th Mountain Division arrived in Italy in late December of 1944, and battle after battle cut through German defenses, albeit with heavy losses.andamp;#8220;Those guys who came back had an adventurous spirit,andamp;#8221; said Hickey. andamp;#8220;They contributed to developing skiing and resorts, and we want to give back.andamp;#8221;The women tossed around ideas, and struck on 10th Mt. Div. hats, complete with the Division’s shoulder patch and slogan andamp;#8220;Climb to Glory.andamp;#8221;andamp;#8220;We loved that, Climb to Glory, it makes a lot of sense,andamp;#8221; said Corrigan. andamp;#8220;There are a lot of people around here like that, backcountry skiers, climbers.andamp;#8221;According to Colonel (Ret.) Michael T. Plummer, president of the National Assoc. of the 10th Mt. Div. and the chief fundraiser for the 10th Mt. Div. Scholarship Fund, there are 4,500 10th Mt. Div. currently deployed, with 3,500 in Afghanistan.andamp;#8220;They are still active out there, doing the real deal, like the hard core World War II guys who broke through where no others could,andamp;#8221; said Hickey. andamp;#8220;I don’t come from a military background, but I respect what they’ve done, and I wanted to take my skills and contribute from the Tahoe Truckee people.andamp;#8221;Hickey went all the way up the chain of command to get authorization to use the patches and slogan.andamp;#8220;We did not want to do anything that might be disrespectful,andamp;#8221; said Corrigan. andamp;#8220;I am not happy there is a war, but those individuals are out there doing the right thing.andamp;#8221;For every hat purchased at $40, $25 will go toward the 10th Mt. Div. fund in the Wounded Warrior Project.andamp;#8220;It’s interesting, people buy them for their dads, and I ask, andamp;#8216;What about you?’andamp;#8221; said Hickey. andamp;#8220;There is a disconnect in generations. I can disagree with the war, but support the individuals who are fighting.andamp;#8221;Corrigan, who owns Mamasake in Squaw, will have the unmistakable, big, colorful food truck on the corner of Squaw Valley Road and Highway 89 on Memorial Day with the tribute hats available for purchase.The women identify with Highway 89. In 1997 the section between Tahoe City and Truckee was renamed andamp;#8220;The 10th Mountain Division Highwayandamp;#8221; in salute to the winter warriors. The hats are also for sale at Mamasake restaurant in the Village at Squaw Valley.Said Col. Plummer, andamp;#8220;Memorial Day is time out to reflect upon those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us and what we have done to make that sacrifice worthwhile … look in the mirror … do you like what you see? … eventually you will meet them again and they will be your judge … every day make it a better America.andamp;#8221;
Find Tahoe 10th Mt. Div. history at http://www.sierrasun.com by Mark McLaughlin, https://www.sierrasun.com/article/20100408/NEWS/100409912andamp;parentprofile=search; at http://www.tenthmountain.org, http://www.10thmtndivassoc.org and Wounded Warrior Project information at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
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