Black Veterans to be Honored in Tributes by Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs During Black History Month

Per Montgomery County: “The Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs will honor Black County veterans with detailed virtual tributes displayed on the County’s website as it recognizes February as Black History Month. The tributes of County veterans will feature photos, background information and details of accomplishments during their military careers and afterward.

During Black History Month, in addition to individual veterans, the County Commission on Veterans Affairs will recognize the service and sacrifices of Black veterans who served in such heroic units as the Buffalo Soldiers, the Harlem Hellfighters and the Tuskegee Airmen. Montgomery County also will honor the County’s Black men and women veterans who continue to serve the nation with honor and distinction.

The Black History Month tribute will be displayed online at  https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS-Program/ADS/VETERANS/BlackHistoryMonth.html.

Detailed tributes also will be displayed throughout February at Buffalo Soldiers Great Hall at the Silver Spring Civic Building at One Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring. The Black History Month display is free to view any time the Civic Building is open to the public.

The main room of the building was dedicated in 2018 as Buffalo Soldiers Great Hall to honor the Buffalo Soldiers unit that was formed by Congressional legislation in the 1860s to allow African Americans to enlist in the United States military.

Michael Theard, president of the 9th and 10th (HORSE) Cavalry Association Greater Washington, D.C. chapter, has loaned several items about Buffalo Soldiers for the Veterans Black History display cases. The Buffalo Soldiers Great Hall was dedicated in honor of the heroic courage and sacrifice of the 92nd Infantry Buffalo Soldiers–African American soldiers who mainly served on the Western frontier following the American Civil War.

In 1866, six all-Black cavalry and infantry regiments were created after Congress passed the Army Organization Act. Their main tasks were to help control the Native Americans of the Plains, capture cattle rustlers and thieves and protect settlers, stagecoaches, wagon trains and railroad crews along the Western Frontier. To learn more about Buffalo Soldiers, visit www.buffalosoldiers-washington.com.

“Every veteran who has served in the history of the U.S. military has their own unique story,” said Wayne Miller, chair of the County’s Commission on Veterans Affairs. “It is the intent of our commission to allow residents to learn more about these remarkable people. The veterans we are honoring during Black History Month all have stories that the people of this County should know.”

A veteran can share their story, or someone can share the story of a friend or family member, by filling out the Commission’s Google form or filling out its PDF form. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

The following information is needed on the forms:

  • Veteran’s name.
  • Name of person submitting information and relationship to the individual.
  • Branch of service and rank.
  • Years of service.
  • Era served (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Global War on Terror or peacetime/other).
  • Brief narrative of their service.
  • Must have been issued a Department of Defense DD-214 Veteran status.
  • City in Montgomery County the Veteran lives or lived. If the Veteran attended high school here, where did they graduate from?
  • Photos (preferably one during their service and one present day).

By sending an email to be included, the sender agrees to have the information shared on the County’s website and in the Commission on Veterans Affairs social media.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich’s thoughts on helping veterans can be found at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/veterans.

To learn more about the Montgomery Commission on Veterans Affairs, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cva.”

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March 1st (Friday) 6pm-7:30pm

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