Memories from the 10th Mountain Division (Camp Hale, Colorado)



Image courtesy of Laurie Gwen Shapiro by way of The Forward.
Top of the World: Morrison circa 1943. He received a Bronze Star for his service in World War II.

I’ve visited Camp Hale on field trips with the Forest Service.  Right now, I believe something about preserving/interpreting Camp Hale is in the CORE Act. I ran across this piece this morning telling the history of one soldier in the 10th Mountain Division,  Sam Meiselman (Morrison), in the Forward.

I first went back with other veterans in 1988 to the battlefields, and that helped bring inner peace, too. I’ve gone many times since, but that first trip brought back memories, good and scary. To this day there are foxholes covered over by grass; you have to be careful. I took 35 rolls of film, many pictures of the villagers who remembered us. So many of those people are dead now.

We fellows closed up the war. The 10th is a great outfit, and we showed the way. Bob Dole, and all the rest of us, we didn’t want this country to get caught short again without special forces. And because of what the Germans had mountainwise, we smartened up America.

I enjoyed reliving the past, but I looked to the future. I was not just active in the 10th Mountain. I’ve also been connected to the International Federation of Mountain Soldiers, where people in mountain divisions of all countries reunite. We remember those lost, and we tell our stories and the stories of those who did not make it back. We have our own pin, and we’ve created peace trails. Ours is in Colorado. I’ve walked that with former Nazis. A German soldier is a member — we are all close-knit brothers now for the love of the mountains — and the love of peace. I know we were called the “Greatest Generation,” but I am well aware we are among the disappearing generation. The old story is, it takes three to take a mountain: one to get killed, one to get wounded and one to tell the story. I got two out of three. So I didn’t do bad.

The whole story is interesting and I believe the Forward allows a number of free articles.



1 thought on “Memories from the 10th Mountain Division (Camp Hale, Colorado)”

  1. My father was in the 10th Mnt Div. He trained at Camp Hale before being shipped to Italy to fight the Germans. He was awarded the Bronze Star. He was in the Apennine Mountians and Po Valley Italy in Headquarters 10th Mountian Div Artillery US Army.
    His name was Harold C Schoon.
    Technician Fifth Grade.
    He died in 2013…


Leave a Comment

Discover more from The Smokey Wire : National Forest News and Views

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading