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september/october 2007

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By Percilla Newberry and Jim W. Boyd
VVA Chapter 574 in El Paso, Texas, had the privilege of hosting the Texas State Council summer meeting at the Holiday Inn in El Paso. This was the first time in many years that three of VVA’s national officers—President John Rowan, Vice President Jack Devine, and Treasurer Alan Cook—came to the Texas meeting.

Cook mentioned that his son, Sgt. Daniel Cook, happened to be stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso and had recently returned from his second tour in Iraq. Alan and Cindy Cook had not seen their son since December. Daniel’s brother, Steven, has just completed his military career. “Daniel and Steven always wanted to join the military and serve their country,” Alan said. Both sons followed their father’s footsteps by enlisting in the Army. For three generations, the men in the Cook family have served in the nation’s armed forces right after high school, and for three generations they answered the call during wartime. The Cook’s family service in the military can be traced back to the Civil War.

Daniel’s MOS is in Air Defense. He has served in various locations, including Iraq in the International Zone (known as the Green Zone) and at Camp Anaconda. Daniel served his first and second tours guarding truck conveys and the U.S. Embassy in the Green Zone. Daniel has been in the military for five years and two were in Iraq. He has received the Army Commendation with Valor.

Chapter 574 President Lucio Moreno asked Alan to invite Daniel to the Awards Banquet at the Texas State Council meeting. The chapter surprised him with a Certificate of Appreciation for his service. After the presentation, every Chapter 574 member and his spouse lined up to shake Daniel Cook’s hand or hug him, welcome him home, and thank him for his service.

Chapter 574 has honored more than fifteen hundred returning service members by inviting them to chapter meetings and presenting them with Certificates of Appreciation. Afterwards, everyone sits down to a big Texas meal.


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