The SCI Dallas Veteran Services Unit held its Annual Memorial Day Tribute on May 26 to celebrate, honor and remember those who have died defending this great nation. This year’s event paid tribute to The Buffalo Soldiers.
An excerpt from the book The Buffalo Soldiers by William H. Leckie was read and provided in the program. The ceremony consisted of the Pledge of Allegiance, an invocation by FCPD McKing, reading of the origins of Memorial Day and closing prayer, and it was all carried out by VSU participants. The VSU’s Color Guard posted and retired the colors, and the guest speaker, Command Sergeant Major Johnson, delivered a motivational speech remotely while serving abroad in support of a current and ongoing campaigns. His speech was not only about the day but included a challenge for our future and a message about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Command Sergeant Major Johnson has a unique tie to the Buffalo Soldiers as his grandfather, Master Sergeant Benjamin Johnson (November 8, 1919 – July 25, 2014) was one of them. Master Sergeant Johnson’s life story, “Soldiering On”, was a powerful true story read by Dallas’ Sergeant at Arms. The ceremony also consisted of an Awards Ceremony where the VSU selected and awarded a Letter of Commendation for the first ever VSU Veteran of the Quarte.
The closing remarks were made by a Master of Ceremonies, and the colors and a ceremonial wreath were displayed on the block for the remainder of the day. The ceremony was attended by all the Veteran Services Unit participants, Zone 1 Veterans, as well as Regional Deputy Secretary Ferguson, Superintendent Ransom, Deputy Contreras, Deputy Bohinski, counselors and other staff.