Reported by Sgt. Major Duste Craig

1st Battalion, Company J, Arkansas Mechanized Cavalry
July report

Greetings from the Great State of Arkansas!

The past month has been a very busy one here! Riding the wheels off to honor our Charge and our Ancestors.

On May 27th, the James H. Berry Camp 468, Bentonville had our 3rd Annual Memorial Day Confederate Grave Flagging Ride. This camp is 75% Mech Cav.

 We had 19 motorcycles and 4 chase vehicles and included Mech Cav, camp members, OCR Sisters and quite a few kids,

 in all nearly 40 people braved the heat to make this event happen.

We rode nearly 100 miles to 5 cemeteries and flagged the final resting places of nearly 100 Confederate soldiers in Washington County, AR.

 Afterwards we had a great Company J cookout and enjoyed the fellowship and camaraderie of our Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

 We continued our flagging with a smaller group on Memorial Day to cover a cemetery we couldn't get to on Sunday and added another 28 graves to the weekend tally

On Saturday, June 2nd, the Annual Confederate Memorial Service was hosted by the AR-UDC and the Southern Memorial Association

at the Fayetteville Confederate Cemetery. Members of 1-J from across the state and the border region of Oklahoma converged to participate

in the proceedings. After the Memorial Service was completed a meeting was held and promotions were announced. Troopers Rick "Breezy" Russell

and James Taylor were promoted to Corporals. Jason "Sparky" Peck was reinstated as 2nd Lt. Afterwards the troops rode into Fayetteville to enjoy lunch together

 and then some members attended the AR-COC meeting, also being held in Fayetteville that afternoon.

On the same weekend we enjoyed a visit from one of our 1st Battalion, Company D Brothers, Keith "Smokey" Hines.

We spent a weekend of great riding, good eatin' and great fellowship with our Georgia Brother!

The same weekend we were blessed with receiving our long awaited Company J Mech Cav rings. They turned out beautifully and came in on time as promised.

Not the usual BS that some other Companies have had to endure from a certain 'other' supplier.

The following weekend on June 10th, the officers of 1st Battalion, Co. J traveled from across the state to Benton, AR for our annual meeting,

where plans were made for events for the upcoming year, issues were discussed and new members were reviewed.

On June 13th, I rolled out to start my journey to Aiken, SC to attend the 21st SCV Mechanized Cavalry Annual being hosted by

 our South Carolina Brothers in 3rd Battalion, Company A. The first leg took me to Southaven, MS to meet Brother "Smiley" Rhoda

from 1-G. We departed at 0530 on Thursday and arrived in Aiken around 4:00pm to begin the weekend festivities.

 Our Sergeant, Shaun Sinclair was also in attendance. It was a great event, full of activities, rides and side trips to destinations of historical interest.

 I had the opportunity to accompany General Stone and Captain Waters of 3-A to the Confederate Relic Room in Columbia, SC to view their AWESOME collection

of Battle Flags and other excellent exhibits. On Friday morning the Mech Cav mustered for a ride to Historic Edgefield, SC for a program of tours through

 a very historic cemetery and then another site. The motorcycle color guard was an awesome sight to see, flags snapping proudly in the wind as we rolled nearly

 sixty bikes strong through the sultry South Carolina backroads. Kudos to HQ Sgt. Major Slim for providing the wonderful flags for each state and the poles

to mount them. Members and their ladies participated in an awesome tour of one of Edgefield's most historic cemeteries, given by a pair of true Southern Belle's,

 dressed beautifully in period hoop dresses and bonnets despite the sweltering 90 degree temperature.

We enjoyed a great lunch on the square with Brothers from across the Mech Cav Nation. On Saturday night there was the first Annual SCVMC

Bike Show to raise money for the SCVMC Disaster Relief Trailer and it was very well received.

Sunday came and it was time to pack up and head west back to NW Arkansas for a 15.5 hour, 950 mile ride. This cavalryman was wore slap out!

In all, a kick butt busy month here and the summer has only just begun!

Till next month......

Live the Charge

Motorcycles lined up before the 3rd Annual Memorial Day Confederate Grave Flagging Ride.

Corporal Breezy places an Honor Flag on one of his ancestors graves as Corporal Popcorn and Trooper Calvin look on.

Members of 1-J at Goshen Cemetery preparing to flag the graves of our gallant Confederate dead.

1-J lined up at Farmington Cemetery.

1-J members after the flagging ride, enjoying some food and well deserved adult beverages!
Troopers Tim Beck, Terry "Ivan" Cook, Calvin Swadley, Corporals Spencer "Popcorn" Blackburn,

James Taylor and Sgt. Major Dustė Craig.

1st Battalion, Company J on the move.
3rd Annual Memorial Day Confederate Cemetery Flagging Run

1st Battalion, Company J on the move.
3rd Annual Memorial Day Confederate Cemetery Flagging Run

1st Battalion, Company J on the move.
3rd Annual Memorial Day Confederate Cemetery Flagging Run
Trooper Tim Beck and Sgt. Major Duste Craig.

Parked in the shade at Bluff Cemetery in Springdale.

1-J rides to show off our beautiful state to our Alabama 1-D Brother Smokey.
On the Buffalo River at Steel Creek.

1-J with our 1-D guest at the Ponca access on the Buffalo River.
Ivan, Breezy, Duste, Dozer, Sparky, Smokey 1-D, Beck and Bubba

Keith "Smokey" Hines, 1-D and Sgt. Major Duste Craig, 1-J.
Ponca on the Buffalo River.

Mech Cav invades Jasper, AR for some great food at the Ozark Cafe.

Forward the Colors!
Group shot overlooking the Arkansas Grand Canyon.
Breezy, Sparky, Dustė, Ivan, Smokey, Gavin and Dozer.

1-J and 1-D at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park.

Brothers at the Pea Ridge Battlefield National Military Park.

The tree line behind us is where Brigadier General Ben McCulloch was mortally wounded by

a Federal sharpshooter on the first day of the battle

1st Battalion, Company J men from across Arkansas and Oklahoma at the Fayetteville Confederate Cemetery

 for the Southern Memorial Association Confederate Memorial Service.

Keith Hines from 1-D and 1-J Captain Roy Bowers front and center.

1st Battalion, Company J Officers Meeting in Benton, AR, June 10th, 2018
Captain Roy Bowers, 2nd Lt Jason Peck, Sgt. Shaun Sinclair, Sgt. at Arms Kelly Singleton, 1st Lt. Ronnie Dancer, 1-J Adjutant Everett Plummer,

 Corporal Breezy Russell, 1st Corporal Popcorn Blackburn, Sgt. Major Dustė Craig, and Corporal James Taylor.

Duste 1-J and Smiley 1-G up at the crack of dawn in Southaven, MS headed to Aiken, SC for the 21st Mech Cav Annual.

Made it!
Let the games begin!

Arkansas Color Guard flag!

Our lovely Southern Belle tour guides at the Edgefield Cemetery.

Mechanized Cavalry Brothers from 8 states represented in this picture at the Confederate Monument on the square in Edgefield, SC. North Carolina,

South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

General Kevin Stone HQ-SCVMC, Sgt. Major Dustė Craig, 1-J and HQ-SCVMC Sgt. Major Slim at

the Confederate Monument in Edgefield, SC.

General Stone, 3-A Captain Mike Waters and Sgt. Major Duste Craig at

the Confederate Relic Room in Columbia, SC.

SCVMC Men from across the Nation at the 21st SCVMC Annual, Aiken SC.

Todd "Biscuit" McMahan, 2-A Highlanders, NC, Sgt. Stan "Smiley" Rhoda, 1-G and

Sgt. Major Dustė Craig catching some vittles in Edgefield, SC.

21st SCVMC Annual