Skip to Content

101st Airborne Vets "Barnstorming" Missouri

Printer-friendly version

Leaders of the newly-formed Missouri Gateway Chapter of the 101st Airborne Division Association are "barnstorming" Missouri cities and towns, spreading the word in search of Screaming Eagle veterans.  The purpose?  To develop an ongoing, statewide "deployment" to honor and serve all military veterans from border-to-border.

Veterans and active duty soldiers who have served in any war or any way with the 101st Airborne, are welcome to join. Their family members and "friends" of the division are also welcome to join as associate members.

The charter members of this chapter have grown from five to 50 since formation September 3, 2011.  The search for "Screaming Eagles" continues, through military sources, participation in veteran events, press coverage and word-of-mouth.  Many are veterans of Vietnam and a growing number are veterans just returned from foreign duty.

The member search began with a list of 101st veterans on the rolls of the national organization, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky ­ alongside the active duty soldiers just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.  The next steps were participation in the "Veterans Fair" held in Forest Park, St. Louis, in September, a "Veterans Day Celebration" at VFW Post 3944 in November, in Overland, and a "Support Your Troops Rally" in Jefferson City in December.

Chapter members also participated in the January, 2012 "Welcome Home" parade and veteran resource center at historic Union Station in St. Louis, with new Iraq and Afghanistan chapter members in the parade, along with the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America.  In March, the chapter participated in the 100th anniversary celebration of the first parachute jump, at Jefferson Barracks, MO.

Likewise, the chapter participated in a March legislative rally in Jefferson City, MO to establish permanent funding for building and operation of Veteran Homes in Missouri.

Leaders continue to reach out to veterans throughout Missouri, and Southern Ilinois, as part of the Metropolitan St. Louis area. There are four ranks in this chapter:  veteran, associate veteran, family member, friend.  Vietnam veterans are prominent.

Two members, veterans of WWII at 86 and 90 years of age, are the oldest in the chapter.  Both live in a Missouri Veterans Home.  They provide inspiration ­ and participate actively.  Each has been honored for valorous service on D-Day, 6th of June, 1944.  One parachuted into France, one arrived by glider.  Both are decorated heroes of the Battle of the Bulge. One was honored with the French Legion of Merit, and one helped capture Adolph Hitler's "Eagle's Nest" in Southern Germany as a member of the "Band of Brothers."

Those who have interest in participating and want more information on how to join are invited to visit the chapter website:  

The vision and mission of the chapter is to honor and support U.S. military veterans -- through community events & activities, veteran education, speaker's bureau, individual and corporate sponsor fundraising, service projects, and advocacy for state and federal government support.  This includes individual veterans, Missouri Veterans Homes, veteran service providers, disabled veterans, homeless veterans, and cooperation with other local and state veteran organizations.