36th STB remembers the Alamo

Story and photo by Pfc. Lisa A. Cope
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq — Soldiers with the 36th Special Troops Battalion out of Temple, Texas, held a memorial to commemorate the Battle of the Alamo, March 6 at Contingency Operating Location Adder, Iraq.

The battle was a 13-day siege that began Feb. 24, 1836, when the first units of Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's army reached Bexar, modern day San Antonio, and ended March 6, 1836, with the slaying of all the Alamo's defenders.

First Lt. Beverly Hutchins, a personnel management officer with the 36th STB, 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a San Antonio, Texas, native, was the master of ceremonies for the event.

"We are here today to remember the Battle of the Alamo," she said. "You may be aware that the facts of the 13-day siege are highly contested even today, but what everyone can agree on is that a few stood against many."

The defenders of the Alamo were not just European settlers. They embodied the true diversity of America, including people of both Mexican and African American descent, said Hutchins. It is because of this diversity that many historians refer to these Americans living in Mexican Texas as Texians, she said.

During the ceremony, Hutchins read a letter written Feb. 24, 1836, by Lt. Col. William Barrett Travis, commander of the Texian forces defending the Alamo, to the people of Texas and to all Americans.

"The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword if the fort is taken," she read. "I have answered the demand with a cannon shot and our flag still waves proudly from its walls. I shall never surrender or retreat."

The Battle of the Alamo is seen by many as a story of courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

Master Sgt. Jeffrey G. Scott, the noncommissioned officer in charge of plans and operations for the 36th STB and a Fort Worth, Texas, native, said he feels the lesson of the Alamo is having the courage to fight for what one believes is right.

"Even though they were almost certain that they were not going to survive, they thought it was right and they were willing to lay down their lives for it," he said.

Scott said he felt honored to be a part of the ceremony remembering the courage of the fallen Soldiers of the Alamo.

"Like the Texians of 1836, the Texans of 2010 stand in defense of liberty and freedom," said Hutchins, "and like Lieutenant Colonel Travis and the defenders of the Alamo, we are guided by the Code of Conduct which reads, 'I will never surrender of my own free will.' Just as Santa Anna's army did at the Battle of San Jacinto, let our enemies now tremble upon hearing the words, 'Remember the Alamo!'"