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January 23, 2014
Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff Writer

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 23, 2014) -- Fort Rucker showed a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T to 21 combat Aviation brigades when it renamed the Lake Tholocco lodging cabins after them.

There are 11 cabins on West Beach and 10 on East Beach for Soldiers and Families, and now the Cabin Renaming Initiative, which began in January 2013, has come to fruition now that CABs from around the globe have been chosen to be represented here on post, according to Janice Erdlitz, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing director.

"We contacted and asked for their support in the way of memorabilia representing their history, heritage and leadership," she said. "And we were welcomed with a great response from most, along with some wonderful items."

To date, Fort Rucker has received items from 16 different CABs, with the items being displayed in the cabin named after their specific CAB.

Although not all of the cabins have received memorabilia yet, all of them have been renamed and claimed by a CAB, said Megan Royer, Lake Tholocco Lodging business manager.

"This is important because we wanted to commemorate and show gratitude toward the combat Aviation brigades and their never-ending sacrifices," she said. "We have wanted to put things on the walls for a long time, so these decorations really make the cabins feel homier."

The farthest brigade that has a cabin commemorated is at USAG Ansbach, Germany.

Everything from framed prints to quilts, from helicopter figurines to anything showing that brigade's heritage and history has been sent to lake lodging to be used, she continued, adding that it was first-come first-served when it came to who got a cabin named after them.

"In late 2012, we began kicking around ideas on how we could strengthen the partnerships that we have with other Aviation elements, and recognize the efforts of the men and women who proudly train and support the Wiregrass community," said Col. Stuart J. McRae, garrison commander. "That is when we took the opportunity to reach out to these various Aviation partners. Those various Aviation units eagerly supported this initiative and today we are proud to show you an example of that support.

"This initiative is yet another milestone of how we honor service, dedication and community," he continued. "The home of Army Aviation is a significant one, and we saw this opportunity to use some of the things that we have here on the installation to sustain and increase that legacy."

There are 14 CABs and brigade-level regiments in the active force and even more in the National Guard and Reserves, said McRae, and, for these brigades that are the fighting force, this is a new piece of their individual legacies.

The cabins are open all year and are available for active-duty service members and their Families, retired military members and DOD civilian employees.

To reserve a cabin or get more information, call 255-4234.