LTC Donahue reminds Saladoans that soldier call to service does not end when service ends
Soldiers have a call to service, not just at home but abroad as well, Lt. Col. Michelle Donahue, commander of the Muleskinner Squadron of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR) told the nearly 200 people gathered for the annual Salado Chamber of Commerce Banquet Jan. 8.
Saladoans gathered to celebrate the successes of the Chamber and learned about the success and duties of the soldiers of the 3rd ACR, which is the adopted regiment for the Village of Salado.
The Regiment has a history dating back 148 years with its soldiers fighting in 11 major conflicts. “One-third of our soldiers are now deployed in Afghanistan, Egypt and Cuba,” she said.
For the past 13 years, the soldiers have sacrificed with the Afghan people. “We have trained the Afghan people to combat the Taliban in their efforts to disrupt the elections of December 12, 2013.”
They have worked with six provincial governors to help train their troops to combat insurgents in Afghanistan.
Serving in the military during the deployments abroad has been about building relationships. The same holds true in the states, according to LTC Donahue. She told the audience that she and her husband LTC Patrick A. Donahue are both proud Military Brats. “This is our first time in Texas,” she said. “I have never seen such a great relationship between the military and the community. I understand why Fort Hood is called The Great Place.”
The relationships between civilians and the military must extend beyond the time of service. “As soldiers transition out of military, we need to make use of their skills. They joined the service to have an impact and they will have an impact in your business.”
Following LTC Donahue’s remarks, outgoing Chamber Chairman Dave Hermann honored the directors leaving the board: Allyn Crain, long-time treasurer Eldon Miller, Jon Moore, Ryan Hodge, Kristi Jarvis and Liz Wolff.
Incoming chairman Tim Fleischer recognized the continuing directors, including Vice Chair Melanie Kirchmeier, Hermann, Claire Hartman, Dave Swarthout (elected to a three-year term after fulfilling an unexpired term on the board), Kaye Coachman and Jennifer McFarland. These will be joined by new directors, including Larry Prellop, Johnny Shipman, Larry Wolfe, Dave Broecker and Ron Cunningham.
“These are the folks who will be taking the partnership of the Chamber and Village that began in 2014 and go forward with it,” Fleischer said. “We will be the ones who make the mistakes, lots of them, as we cobble together this new way of doing business. We won’t be able to do it without your support.”
“We need you to continue as members of the Chamber and as volunteers for the Chamber,” he added, “so that we can build on the work of Debbie, Kerry and Megan and multiply their efforts by adding our own to them.”
“Frankly your dues are more important now than ever before,” he said. “It will allow us to leverage those dollars in ways we never could before.”
“When this happens, it will bring more sales tax revenues, higher commercial property values and the inherent property taxes within them so that our Village government can do its job,” he said. “The Chamber and community are symbiotic in nature. And I know I am preaching to the converted. You came out on a cold January night to celebrate the success of Salado in 2014 and to look forward to a brighter 2015.
“It will be brighter if we take to heart the words of Ben Franklin,” he said, “‘We must hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.’ Let’s hang together during this, our Salado revolution.”