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Elvis express radio are very proud to be THE OFFICIAL ELVIS show of...
I don't recall how I came to be the keeper of the Velvet Elvis, but by 1992 most of the original Bearcats had left the unit.
CW3 Greg Gilman was married in Clarksville sometime in 94 or 95. This event brought many of the Bearcats back to the
Campbell area. My wife and I traveled from Ft Rucker to attend, as did Dale Stroud. Again I don't recall how I wound up with
Velvet Elvis, but I brought him back for the wedding.

Gilman didn't realize it until the last moment, but one of the following; CW3 Tim Zarnowski, then CPT Tom Drew, CW3(R)
Tom Grogan, CW3 Jamie Weeks, CW4 Dave Jones, CPT Russ Stinger or perhaps another Bearcat had managed to hang
Velvet Elvis behind the lectern as Gilman was facing the rear of the hall while Ava (new wife) entered to the bridal music.

So yep, Velvet Elvis was definitely part of the wedding ceremony. I'm sure someone somewhere has picture evidence.

After the wedding Dale Stroud reclaimed Velvet Elvis and that was the last time I saw him. I've asked Dale a few times over
the years if we could PCS’ed him back to the Bearcats. Each time he agreed if he could only find him. I'll check with Dale
again and remind him the legacy is still alive. Wouldn't it be cool to put Velvet Elvis back on the Bearcat Guidon? Especially
since the Bearcats still remember.
Elvis Presley was proud to serve his country from 1958 to 1960 as part of the 3rd Armoured Division of the U.S. Army, and
through the rest of his life he was proud of anyone he met who was a part of armed forces. Just as we are here at E.E.R, so to
be made aware of this fine regiment of the U.S. Army proudly using Elvis as their mascot, we just had to welcome them to our
show and will always be here to play Elvis down their airwaves and rock out together. As their moto rightly says...
ELVIS LIVES!
HOW ELVIS BECAME A BEARCAT
From: Turberville, Gregory R CW5 USA CJTF-101 CMD GRP
Subject: RE: (U) Bearcats

UNCLASSIFIED

Apologies for lapses in memory, but as best I can recall a brief history follows:

Yes, I was a charter member of the Bearcats. The company originated out of 2nd Attack (platoon), A Company, 229th
Attack Helicopter Battalion. The Platoon was designated B Co, and the Company was designated 55th Attack Helicopter
Battalion in late 1986 or early 87 as I recall. This all occurred as a result of the Aviation Branch restructuring H series units
to J series units.

One weekend in early 1988 a group of the guys were traveling between Killeen and Austin and stopped by a roadside flea
market or such. CW2 Dale Stroud purchased a
tapestry or wall hanging velvet Elvis to use as a rally moniker to hang
on the Orderly room wall.
This tapestry and subsequently a resin statute became standard essential equipment for every field problem, TCS,
deployment, etc involving the company. Dale PCS'ed out of the Company sometime in late 1989, but he left
Velvet Elvis
because it was part of the Company legacy now. We even had the
Elvis TCB lightning bolt painted on the vertical fin on
at least one aircraft (Dale probably would recall the tail #, had to be 975,6,7 or so).

Velvet Elvis was in Desert Shield/Storm with us. He flew on several combat missions and likewise led several convoys.

Velvet Elvis was a Bearcat by now. He always provided the backdrop for mission briefs, company gatherings, formals,
etc. Interestingly the influence possessed by
Velvet Elvis was so great that he rivaled even the authority of our Company
Commander & 1SG at the time.