Fellow Screaming Eagles: I've been asked to direct the fund raising effort for the Division's Monument. This is a task like none I've ever performed before but could not turn down because it is a labor of love begun by my father and one I'm proud to continue.
We love our division for what it has done, for what it is, for what it represents. What the 101st represents is embodied in our shoulder patch, our sole escutcheon, our national emblem: the eagle. An American eagle in full cry, warning enemies and devouring those who do neat heed the warning.
The Division today is a living raptor, by far the most important identity of the Screaming Eagle. But like anything living its life includes the past and future. The past is the focus of our Monument. However, we need it not only to reflect on previous victories and their wrenching costs but also to inform future Screaming Eagles of their pedigree and the standards they must meet to wear the patch with honor. The CG is action officer for that, but a major part of our job is to create a tangible symbol to show Screaming Eagles tomorrow that they can do what their predecessors have done, and even surpass it.
The symbol will be our Monument at Ft. Campbell. We already have a truly great monument at Arlington Cemetery, the resting place of many of our finest comrades. But we have no monument like that at "home", for hopefully Ft. Campbell will the Screaming Eagle's roost forever. Home is where the heart is, and where we want to present ourselves at our best to the world going by.
A fine home costs lots of money so a lot must be raised. Please think of the Monument as the front door to the last house our family will buy. With the new museum this monument is the last major capital outlay for the 101st family to finance.
It is my good fortune that advising and supporting me in this challenge are a group of talented and accomplished Screaming Eagles including generals from all our wars, each a point man for soliciting funds from corporate donors. Corporations are not easy to convince because there are few obvious affiliations between them and the 101st. Such corporations have policies which will cause them to ask, "If we donate to the 101st how can we not do the same for every division-size unit in the Army and Marine Corps who wants to build a monument?"
A tough question, but a major part of the answer will be that Screaming Eagles from all generations and from all over the country are digging deep and pitching in as much money as they can. What we will be asking for is matching funds from corporations.
That of course is where the rest of us come in. We must show corporations that we are willing to put our money where our hearts are that if our bank accounts were as rich as our memories, the Monument would be funded overnight.
As has been said about veterans, "All gave some and some gave all." We cherish the memory of those who gave their all. For their monument, let's all of us give some.
Airborne/Air Assault, all the way to the day we unveil our Monument- Tom Taylor 2/502nd VN
excerpt from The Screaming Eagle March - April 1998 edition