Veterans Corner

Just a few more weeks and perhaps spring will be here! And with spring comes the Armed Forces Celebration Day.

This will the second year of the event. This year, more entities are involved in the planning and execution, such as the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce, along with Houston’s American Legion Post 41, the Fleet Reserve Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

A fundraiser is in progress; T-shirts are available from the Legion through Opportunity Sheltered Industries. Their phone number is 417-967-3608. I believe the cost is $15 and the graphics are pretty snazzy! Concerning fundraising, people and organizations have expressed a desire to contribute. Contributions can be made directly to the Legion.

Last year, Progressive Ozark Bank of Houston was the first contributor. For more information, you can attend a weekly business meeting, which take place at 9 a.m. each Thursday. Right now I don’t have phone numbers to contact the people in charge, but my email is listed in the byline and I can forward any questions. 

I’m sure readers remember me talking about Boys and Girls State. Well, enough money was raised to send up to three students. The interviews and selection process are in the “works” now, so in a few months we should know who is going. I would ask that readers look up the programs and do some reading. This has been an ongoing concern of the Legion since the 1950s. Numerous young people have attended over the decades, and many have became community leaders. The Houston City Council includes a graduate of Boys State.

Now for my history clip. In 1846, frontiersman-turned-showman William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody was born in Scott County, Iowa. His family moved to Kansas in 1854, and after the death of his father three years later he set out to earn the family living, working for supply trains and a freighting company. In 1859 he went to the Colorado gold fields, and in 1860 he rode briefly for the Pony Express.

Cody’s adventures on the Western frontier as an Army scout and later as a buffalo hunter for railroad construction camps on the Great Plains were the basis for the stories later told about him. Ned Buntline in 1872 persuaded him to appear on the stage, and except for a brief period of scouting against the Sioux in 1876, he was from that time connected with show business.

In 1883, Cody organized Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and he toured with it throughout the United States and Europe for many years. Wyoming granted him a stock ranch, on which the town of Cody was laid out. He died in Denver and was buried on Lookout Mountain near Golden, Colo.

The exploits attributed to Cody in the dime novels of Buntline and Prentice Ingraham are only slightly more imaginative than his own autobiography published in 1920.

Houston resident Keith Ford is a retired infantryman and an amateur writer whose work has appeared in publications around the world. Email

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