Aggie Muster in Combat Zone
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office
Balad, Iraq — Nine Texas A&M University graduates gathered at Logistic Support Area Anaconda here Wednesday to carry on the tradition of remembering fellow Aggies who passed away during the previous year.
The Aggie Muster is held annually April 21 and observed by graduates around the world.
"Muster is much more than a solemn remembrance of those who have passed," said Army Ltc. Robert Parker, Anaconda muster chairman and G-6 for the 13th Corps Support Command. "It is a special time during the year that Aggies throughout the world unite in spirit to renew their loyalty and devotion to the Aggie family and the Aggie spirit."
This year's muster was not typical for the nine former students in attendance here. LSA Anaconda is a hostile fire area and subject to frequent mortar and rocket attacks. Some of the Anaconda based Aggies serve in units that engage in daily ground operations against anti-coalition forces.
Although the muster tradition is over 100 years old it came into common practice as a way of remembering graduates killed in action during World War II.
Remembered this year were; Capt. Ernesto Blanco '98, 1st Lt. Doyle Hufstedler '01, Brian Hill '80, Mellisa Scarmardo '94, Timothy Thiele '76, George Cartwright '04, Stephen Ard '84, William (Bill) Morgan '81 and Richard Lyles '84.
Texas Aggies are well known for their unwavering loyalty and devotion to Texas A&M and their fellow graduates.
Nine Texas A&M graduates attended the 2004 muster at Logistics Support Area Anaconda near Balad, Iraq. From L to R: Col. Gary Bunch, '76, Sgt. Nathan Cook '03, Ltc. George Akin '84, Capt. Jeffrey Kovatch '99, Ltc. Kent Marquardt '84, Ltc. Robert Parker '80, Ltc. Emmett Schuster '80 and 2lt. Jason Crow, '94. Not pictured is USAF Cpt. Larry Noel, '95.