E-News — July 2023

Troopers Down

Matthew A. McNally III


Matthew A. McNally III. Matthew A. McNally III, 72, of Grove City, passed peacefully on June 11, 2023, following a brief illness. Matthew was born in Newton, MA, on May 31, 1951, to Matthew A. and Kathryn A. (Penney) McNally, Jr. He married Debra S. Vandewalker on February 4, 1978. He was a graduate of St. Sebastian High School (1970) in Needham, MA and Norwich University (1974) in Northfield, VT.

Matthew began 40 years of dedicated service to the United States when he joined the Army in 1976. He attended OCS and was commissioned as an Armor Officer in 1977. For the next three years he was assigned to the 11th ACR with D Company, 1st Squadron, in Fulda, Germany; and he patrolled the East West German border as part of the regiment’s Cold War mission. After various postings stateside, Matthew transitioned to the US Army Reserve in 1983 and entered civil service.

He worked with the Department of Defense in Yuma Arizona; the Maritime Administration in New Orleans; and the Office of Personnel Management National Background Investigations Bureau in Boyers, Pennsylvania, where he retired as a Program Manager in 2018.

Matthew was recalled to active duty from 2003 to 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was attached to the Rapid Equipping Force in Baghdad. Matthew was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his meritorious service in Iraq.

In 1990, Matthew earned an MA in Business from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. He was selected to attend the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and he earned an MA in Defense and Strategic Studies in 2003.

Matthew was raised in the Catholic faith, and he attended The Church of The Beloved Disciple, Grove City. Matthew is survived by his wife, Debra at home; sisters Penney Stapfer and Susan Grant; and brothers Mark and Michael McNally. Matthew was preceded in death by his parents. The burial location is Norwich University Cemetery in Northfield, VT.

Online condolences at www.cunninghamfhgc.com.



Fairl "Sonny" Gilland Jr.


Fairl “Sonny” Gilland Jr. Known affectionately as Sonny, he was born on August 5, 1951, in Pontiac, Michigan. Sonny proudly served his country in the United States Army, dedicating six years of his life to defending his nation. A Vietnam veteran serving with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Sonny exhibited exceptional bravery and was recognized for his service with two Bronze Service Stars, the National Defense Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge; he is listed as an Expert Rifleman. He passed away on May 23, 2023, leaving behind a profound legacy of honor, camaraderie, and resilience.

Beyond his military service, Sonny was a beloved brother, uncle, and friend. He brought joy and love into the lives of his family members and friends, serving as a source of inspiration and support.

Sonny is survived by Theodore & Nancy Kordus; their daughter Kathleen (Michael) Gingras; and his sister-in-law Anita (Gary) Craven. His nieces and nephews will deeply miss him: Joshua (Kelly) Bechard, Joseph (Stacy) Bechard, Jeanette (Terry) Foote, Theresa (Patrick) Moshier, Tina (Joshua) Kuhns, and Dave (Chelsea) Bechard. Sonny’s impact on their lives will forever be treasured.

He enjoyed miniature gaming and board games. The camaraderie of his friends, such as Rob (Trisa) Gaines, Curtis Leonard, Bernie Bresnahan, Roger Meyers, and countless other Friends, meant the world to him.

Sonny was preceded in death by his brother Merlin Gilland, his mom Betty Gilland, and Steven Kordus.

Sonny’s passing leaves a void in the hearts of his family, friends, and all who knew him. His legacy of valor, compassion, and camaraderie will serve as an enduring reminder of the sacrifices made by those who serve in the military. While we mourn the loss of a dear brother, uncle, and friend, we also celebrate Sonny’s indelible mark on the lives he touched.

A graveside Memorial will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023, 11 a.m., at Lakeview Cemetery, 6150 White Lake Road, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346. Luncheon will follow at Golden Buffet, 5630 Dixie Hwy, Waterford Twp, MI 48329; this was a restaurant that Sonny always enjoyed.

Sonny’s departure reminds us of the profound impact one person can have through their selflessness and dedication. May his soul find eternal peace, and may we strive to carry forward his legacy of honor and compassion in our own lives.

Warning Order!
Blackhorse Marathon
September 23, 2023

The Blackhorse Association, in partnership with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, would like to invite you to attend this year’s Blackhorse Marathon at Fort Irwin, California. The marathon is open to active-duty military, retirees, veterans, and civilians. This is a great way for veterans of the Regiment to interact with our active-duty troopers. There will be trophies for the best placed veteran in each of the
races! Following the marathon on Saturday evening, Fort Irwin will be having Octoberfest. Please use the QR code on the flyer to register. For questions, please feel free to contact Dan at dcnbha@nullgmail.com.

Edit this section of copy to tell your supporters how their action will help ignite change. Use stories, quotes, data, and other inspiring content to capture their attention and get them to act.

Blackhorse Marathon

Warning Order #2
Blackhorse Family Reunion 2024!
Save the Dates

July 24 – 28, 2024 (early check-in beginning July 21, 2024)

Location: The Academy Hotel, 8110 N. Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80920- 3904.

Reservation period: Nov 1, 2023 thru June 23, 2024. The Academy Hotel does not use online reservations and requires reservations to be made telephonically. Here are the details:

Room block dates: July 22 – 28, 2024
Reservation dates: July 25 – 28, 2024
Room rates: $135 per night (includes breakfast, parking, internet) Hotel reservation number: 719-598-5770
Group code: Blackhorse Association Reunion

Activities in the area (with the proposed days)

Tuesday (noon – 5 p.m.)
Pre-reunion BBQ at Blackhorse Stables (Scott’s place) Cost: free
Travel on your own

Thursday (2 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
Tour-on-your-own options

Manitou Springs Cave of the Winds (https://caveofthewinds.com/)

Pioneer package (zipline, wall climbing, etc.): $25 per person 45-minute cave tour: $17-25 per person
90-minute lantern cave tour: $22-30 per person

Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellers (https://www.cliffdwellingsmuseum.com/) Cost: $7-12 per person

Thursday dinner (4 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
Flying W Ranch (https://www.flyingw.com/)
– Dinner cost: $54
– Transportation by carpool

Friday tour
Air Force National Museum (https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Virtual-Tour/)
– Admission is free
– Transportation by carpool or bus (TBD)

Saturday tour options (noon – 3 p.m.)
Pro Rodeo Museum and Hall of Fame (https://www.prorodeohalloffame.com/) – Admission fee: $7-10 per person
– Transportation by carpool or bus (TBD)

On any day
The United States Air Force Academy tour is virtual only, except for graduates. (https://www.usafa.edu/virtualtour/)

Friday Stable your mount casual Pasta buffet
Salad, pasta, sauce, and grilled chicken with apple crisp, tea, lemonade, water, coffee, and cash bar.

Saturday gourmet buffet
Rolls & Butter, salad, 2 side dishes, TBD Entree, TBD Premium Entree (carving station), assorted cakes and cheesecake, tea, lemonade, water, coffee, and cash bar.

Registration costs (estimated to be approx. $100 per person) include Friday and Saturday dinners with coin.

Registration window: Nov. 1, 2023 thru July 24, 2024

Blackhorse Association 2023 Scholarship Winners

Emma Cavendish: Patton Scholarship
Donald Blanton III: Workhorse Scholarship
Charlotte Boland: CSM McCord Scholarship
Audrey Kranc: Ironhorse Commanders Scholarship
Kyle Nelson: OIF Remembrance Scholarship
Ethan Owings: BG John Sherman Crow Scholarship
Knowel Taylor: Cold Steel Scholarship
Anna Turlington: James Benefield Scholarship Fund

Ashlyn Allaire
Grace Brandl
Margaret Cavanaugh
Jerome Dorsey
Morgan Dorsey
Charles Kimbrough
Liezel Labounty
Ella Mack
Nicholas Mahoney
Sarah Mahoney
Cassandra Sonstein
Jillian Wonder

Blackhorse Chapter Roll Call!

We need to hear from our chapters, and we intend to build stronger relationships with all of the BHA Troopers who are gathering and supporting the association’s goals. To do so, we would like an elected officer from each chapter to contact the association at bha- chapters@nullgooglegroups.com by July 15. Please include your name, contact information, chapter name, and location.

Positive identification and liaison with the chapters are needed to help the association better align its activities with all of our membership. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with future joint operations, if appropriate.

In particular, we are aware of (but also need contact from) the following groups:

Blackhorse Regiment Cavalry Motorcycles

Houston/Southeast Texas Chapter

Gold Vault Chapter (Fort Knox and Louisville area)

Fort Irwin Chapter

Air Cav Troop Chapter (Tennessee)

Newspaper Article from 1976
Courtesy of Don Snedeker

Newspaper Article from 1976


One of the results of these and similar incidents was the creation of mandatory introduction to the German language — Headstart German — which was instituted in August 1976. In addition, there was a new requirement that change of command speeches in Germany include at least a portion of those speeches in the German language.


Recent Newspaper Article
Fuldaer Zeitung

The US soldier and the broken mug – who can help find the cross beer glass?

Created: May 28, 2023 at 5:13 am

By: Sebastian Reichert  –  Sabrina Mehler

After 36 years, the ex-US soldier’s cross beer glass broke. (Archive photo) © Leonie Rehnert, private

Broken Glass


Who doesn’t know it: It always makes you cry when something you use a lot gives up the ghost. Now a former US soldier has broken his beloved beer glass from the cross in Fulda.

Fulda/Los Angeles – The story is a little reminiscent of the well-known comedy by Heinrich von Kleist – “The Broken Jug”. But in this case, a man is looking for a replacement for his beloved drinking vessel. The Kreuz cultural center is now asking people from eastern Hesse for help in this case.

What is the history of the quest? Around 6,500 soldiers of the 11th US Armored Reconnaissance Regiment not only took on military tasks in the Fulda region , they also shaped the cityscape – and sometimes the nightlife as well. One of these US soldiers is Andreas Raab.

Fulda: Strange – US soldier from Los Angeles is looking for a cross beer glass

He did his service in the cathedral city in the 1980s. Today he lives near Los Angeles in the USA. The former GI urgently asks the people of Fulda for help. His beer mug from the cross, which he used every day for 36 years, broke.

He recently wrote a message to the cultural center: “I always used it for coffee, hot chocolate, beer, water, cola – it was my daily drinking vessel for all purposes.” The cross, which unfortunately no longer has such a beer glass itself, has now changed addressed to our newspaper.

If you still find an old Kreuz beer glass in your inventory and would like to give it to the Americans, please send an e-mail to locales@nullfuldaerzeitung.de. Andreas Raab would be very happy to hear good news from his former military home of Fulda.

The cross (“diversity as a principle”) as a socio-cultural center has existed since the 1970s. At that time, the cultural center (KUZ) mainly focused on Christian and classical references. The cross also suffered in the Corona crisis . Nevertheless, the cultural center has been able to “offer a culturally diverse program in the East Hessian province for over 40 years”.

An old community hall with a large theater stage in Fulda-Horas has been a KUZ venue for a wide variety of artistic and socio-cultural content for over 40 years, also and especially for young people. Slam formats, concerts and party events take place there regularly.

 Send us your Blackhorse-related news.

Do you have items of interest that are related to the Blackhorse? Please send them to Clint Ancker, Director of Communications, at banditsix@nullaol.com.

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