By Grady Birdsong ~
Cooper’s Troopers, a monthly luncheon group of veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, and all the in-between conflicts, are still meeting at AmLeg Post #161 in Arvada. S/Sgt Ed Cooper, a China Marine, Arvada businessman, began this informal organization in the early 1990s.
Al Jennings (Iwo Jima Vet), Col Bob Fischer, Tim Hall, John Decker, Grady Birdsong, and now Tom Jacobs (All Vietnam Vets) have served as the group’s informal leader and program chair. Paula Sarlls represents the Women Marines who frequent the group. Paula also serves as President of the USMC Memorial Foundation, now in a remodel/fundraising campaign for the Marine Memorial located at 6th Avenue & Colfax in Golden, CO. These two groups are engaged in accomplishing this task.
This month (April), Maj Gen William F. Mullen III USMC (Ret), now residing in Arvada, spoke to the group’s luncheon about his deployments to Iraq in 2005-6 and then again in 2015-16. He covered his mission assignment with details of the challenges, successes, and lessons learned. It was an outstanding presentation.
Last month (March), Jan Weber, Coordinator/Group Leader of the National Quilts of Valor Foundation, Cooper’s members, Steven Chagolla, USMC (Retired Denver Police Officer), and Randy Still, U. S. Navy, presented thirteen Quilts of Valor to deserving Coopers Troopers Members. Those members receiving the Quilts of Valor for their Service to our nation: Daniel Guenther, Ed Barnholt, Craig Brown, Bill Baker, Harry Knapp, Bob Allsup, Gene Parker, C.R. Cusack, Gary Springer, Bob Brockish, Marty Letellier, William “Billy” Gallegos, and John Bergin.
Each month, Denver area Marines, Corpsmen, members of other military branches, and veterans of all wars meet to renew acquaintances, give each other the respect they have earned as defenders of America’s freedom and listen to a guest speaker on a related military subject. It is all in the spirit of re-bonding and remembering those lost in battle who gave so many of their yesterdays to our great nation.
The clarion call goes out to any Veteran who wants to join in this luncheon activity. The meetings are every month (the Third Thursday of every month) @ Wilmore-Richter AmLeg Post #161, 6230 W. 60th Ave., Arvada, CO 80003. Contact Grady Birdsong at 303-466-6491 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grady T. Birdsong is a Veteran Advocate and Author, To the Sound of the Guns: 1st Bn, 27th Marines from Hawaii to Vietnam 1966-1968 (BirdQuill 2018). Co-Author with Colonel Bob Fischer, The Miracle Workers of South Boulder Road: Healing the Signature Wounds of War (Bookcrafters 2016).