From the President

MG Christopher Cavoli with the current President of the 25th IDA, William R. I. “Easy” Smith, at Schofield Barracks during Tropic Lightning Week in 2016.

MG Christopher Cavoli with the current President of the 25th IDA, William R. I. “Easy” Smith, at Schofield Barracks during Tropic Lightning Week on 6 Oct 2016.

Welcome to the 25th Infantry Division Association’s website. The Association was formed after WW II by a group of 25th Veterans who wanted to celebrate their service to our Nation and maintain the fellowship that is unique among Veterans. The Association has changed over the years but its primary mission remains the same: to foster the bonds of friendship among Veterans who have served with or have been attached to the 25th Infantry Division. The Association is a qualified tax-exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c) (19) and contributions to the Association are tax deductible. Our members include Veterans from World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, and the Global War on Terror (GWOT). If you meet the criteria for membership, we would love to have you join today.

The benefits of membership include receiving our quarterly journal, Tropic Lightning Flashes, unique product offerings such as a 25th Infantry Division commemorative 1911 .45 caliber pistol, attendance at our annual reunions which move to different locations each year and return to Hawaii every fifth year, the ability to participate in and contribute to our scholarship program which awards scholarships to the children and grandchildren of 25th Veterans, and an opportunity to serve in a leadership position in the Association.

Our reunions provide a unique opportunity to meet Veterans from other eras who share similar experiences to what you may have encountered. I believe this is one of the most valuable benefits of membership because you have probably realized you can’t discuss your service with non-Veterans. Citizens who have not served have no frame of reference to begin a discussion of events we have all encountered during our service. Experiencing a discussion with another Veteran, in my judgment, is the best form of therapy available to Veterans. Veterans of all eras represent a small minority of our Nation’s citizens. Today, more than any other period in our Nation’s history, our active duty troops represent the smallest percentage of Americans — less than one percent. We need to support one another and reunions provide a great forum to accomplish that. Our 2017 reunion will be held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Please plan on attending as it should be an great time for all.

In response to requests from our Active Duty Leadership, we undertook a project to build a memorial at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii to honor the service and sacrifice of 25th soldiers from WWII to the GWOT. We formed a new entity, The 25th Infantry Memorial Fund, a qualified tax-exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c) (3) and contributions to the fund are also tax deductible. We dedicated the memorial at our Hawaii reunion in 2006. You can read more about the Memorial Fund and our fund-raising efforts to complete the memorial at Ft. Benning at: http://25thmemorialfund.org/.

The Association has an Archives Program to collect historical artifacts relevant to the 25th Infantry Division operations since its inception during WW II. The Archives are stored at and managed by the George C. Marshall Foundation which is on the grounds of the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, Virginia. We have received almost every conceivable type of artifact you can imagine and all of this will benefit future generations of researchers and the families of our Veterans. The Archives are available for viewing and we are in the process of creating a digital inventory. As part of the Archives Program we also have a “Living History Project”. This aspect of the Archives will store the recorded histories of our members’ service to our Division and Nation. Members are encouraged to submit their stories in written or recorded form to the Association Headquarters for submission to the Archives. The Marshall Foundation Library, where you can view items from our Archives, is open Monday through Friday from 0900 hrs. to 16:30 hrs. The web site of the Marshall Foundation is: http://marshallfoundation.org/.

We have an active program to recruit Veterans from the GWOT to join our ranks. We need to begin the transition to the next generation of Warriors. We need your ideas, leadership and motivation to carry the Association forward.

Tropic Lightning Sir,

William R. I. “Easy” Smith
President