Mets Honor Command, Observe Army Reserve’s 100th Anniversary
American Forces Press Service
NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2008 Major League Baseball’s New York Mets have designated tomorrow as Army Reserve Day at Shea Stadium here to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Army Reserve and to honor the soldiers of the 77th Regional Readiness Command.
The 77th RRC was one of the first units to respond to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and many of its soldiers reported for duty in the days following the attack without having been called.
In the subsequent months, the 77th RRC provided mortuary units, tents, construction equipment, medical services and trucks to aid in the 9/11 aftermath. Six Army Reserve soldiers from the 77th RRC - five firemen and one lawyer - sacrificed their lives in the disaster.
"As we commemorate the centennial of the Army Reserve this year, I am honored to serve alongside all the brave men and women who have shown their dedication to both the military force as well as the work force for the past 100 years," said Army Maj. Gen. William Terpeluk, 77th RCC commander. "We are so proud to have served our country, and the people of New York, in the wake of 9/11 and as part of the 77th RRC."
The New York Mets share a long history with the 77th RRC. During the 1960s, the Mets needed a local command where their Army Reserve team members could practice drilling. 77th RRC drill assemblies included, at various times, Mets players Tug McGraw, Nolan Ryan, Bud Harrelson, Wayne Garret, Ken Boswell and Danny Friscella.
Shortly after the U.S. Army Reserve was formed by Congress, the 77th Division, National Army, was organized at Camp Upton, Yaphank, N.Y., on Aug. 25, 1917. A unit of 23,000 men, it included Manhattan taxi drivers, Bronx tailors, Brooklyn factory hands, Wall Street executives and first-generation immigrants, all wearing the Statue of Liberty shoulder patch.
After 91 years, the 77th RRC was officially deactivated on Sept. 7, 2008, when a casing-of-colors ceremony was held at the former site of Camp Upton.
(From a U.S. Army Reserve Command news release.)