Major (ret.) Joseph E. Burlas, III. Joe Burlas, age 56 of Columbia, Maryland, passed away on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. He was born on March 15, 1959 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After graduating from Leavenworth High School, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1982 and was commissioned in the United States Army as 2nd Lieutenant. He joined How Battery, 1/11th ACR in Fulda, Germany. During his Army career, he served as a Field Artillery officer, and later as a Public Affairs Officer while being stationed with his family in Germany and several states.
After leaving active duty in 1993, Joe continued his service to our country in the U.S. Army Reserves as the Commander of the 356th Broadcast Public Affairs Detachment, and he became an Army Civilian, working as a journalist for the Fort Meade-based newspaper “SoundOff!”. He later worked for the Army News Service in the Pentagon. Between 1994 and 2002, he won over 15 national awards for journalism including The George Washington Chapter Journalist of the Year; the MDW Journalism Civilian Journalist of the Year; and multiple Department of the Army Keith L. Ware awards for excellence in journalism. Joe retired from the Army Reserves at the rank of Major in 2003.
He is remembered for his faith in God, his devotion to his family, and a love for his country. Major (ret.) Burlas is survived by his wife Erika Burlas; mother Elizabeth Burlas; his four children Joseph Burlas IV, Veronika Conner (spouse Ray Conner), James Burlas (spouse Kristin Burlas), and Rachel Burlas; his three grandchildren Joseph Burlas V, Braedan Conner, and Natalie Conner; his brother Robby Burlas (spouse Anne Burlas); and his sister Becki Shannon (spouse Pat Shannon).
A Note on an Ailing Blackhorse Veteran
Gentlemen: We received an email from the daughter of John Henry Frederick Holsen V. John served with us in H Co 2/11 in Vietnam, 1967-1968. John, like many of our brothers, is fighting cancer due to Agent Orange; he has recently gone under hospice care. If you should have a minute and can give him a call at 618-240-4161 or send him a card at John Holsen, 17963 Hwy 1, Mt Carmel IL 62863, I’m sure it would be appreciated.
Last month’s E-News listed a number of relevant websites dealing with the Blackhorse. Here’s another that has come to our attention: opens in a new windowhttp://www.ironcurtaintrail.eu/en/
This is a history project about the Iron Curtain that divided the two Germanys and at which the Regiment patrolled for decades.
If anyone has other websites that they think are of interest to our readers, please send them to me at opens in a new email@example.com new email for possible inclusion in future E-News.
In addition, there is a Facebook page “Association of Border Cavalry Professionals” that might be of interest to those of you on Facebook.
Update on Our Memorial Site
Below are two pictures of our Memorial Site at Fort Benning. The Memorial itself has been completed, but there is still landscaping to be done.
Independence Day Parade – Aspen, Colorado
Below is a photo taken during this year’s Independence Day Parade in Aspen, Colorado. Shown here are the 52nd Colonel of the Blackhorse and former Secretary of the Army Tom White with Sergeant Major (ret.) Bill Hutton riding in Bill’s beautifully restored 1943 Jeep.
Video from the Last Patrol Ceremony
Below is a link to a wonderful video from the 25th Anniversary of the Last Border Patrol Ceremony at Point Alpha; the ceremony was on April 24, 2015. Many thanks to George Wood, who provided the video and the link.
He also uploaded, at the link below, some photos from our Fort Irwin visit during this year’s June Reunion.
A Blackhorse thanks to George for taking the time to both record and make available these great reminders of our recent events!
The New Sign for Point Alpha
Below is a photo of the new sign that leads to Point Alpha, our former OP Alpha. The sign was unveiled as part of a ceremony on Friday, July 24 – making Rasdorf the “official Point Alpha town.” The man in the center is the German Interior Minister; followed to his left by Volker Bausch, the president of the Point Alpha Stiftung; then to his left Herr Hahn, the mayor of Rasdorf. Congratulations to Volker Bausch on yet another major step in memorializing the efforts of all who served on the Border during the Cold War.
On the subject of Point Alpha, the following note was sent by Glenn Allardyce:
Take a moment to check out this Point Alpha link on Indiegogo, and also share it with your friends. All the tools are there to get perks, make a contribution, or simply follow updates on the Point Alpha exhibition expansion. If enough of us get behind this project, we can make “Point Alpha – Expansion of the Exhibition” happen! This is our OP Alpha.