By Maj. Raul E. Marquez

1st Cavalry Division public affairs

A group of soldiers and civilians from the 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team took a trip Feb. 22 to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

The group, led by Lori Carpenter, the Family Readiness support assistant, usually just visits the brigade’s wounded soldiers. But this time they had a special delivery: six walking sticks donated by the Firehouse Carvers of Jefferson City, Mo.

Walt Sinclair, a member of the carving club and father of Maj. John Sinclair, the brigade’s signal officer, personally delivered the walking sticks to Fort Hood.

“This is the first time we did this as a club,” said Walt Sinclair, who delivered 10 of his own carved sticks once before to a classmate of his youngest son, who was wounded in Iraq and was recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Sinclair retired from the Air Force in 1977 after 20 years in the Strategic Air Command and later taught for 25 years at Tricounty VoTech in Eldon, Mo. He is now retired and spends much of his time fishing and carving, but he still finds time for the troops.

“It was very important for my dad that those walking sticks were delivered to the Grey Wolf soldiers,” his son said. “When he and Mom came down to visit after my return from Iraq, he made sure to bring those walking sticks with him.”

Some of the soldiers at Brook are double amputees who are learning to walk again.

“The soldiers were amazed at the interest and support shown by the community in their well-being,” Carpenter said of the soldiers who received the walking sticks.

Most of the walking sticks included the signature of the woodcarver, and one of them was adorned with the signature of Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt.

“Carving walking sticks is a way for the wood carving club to thank our soldiers for their service and sacrifice,” John Sinclair said.

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