Hughes honored at West Point

       Westside leader and Korean War hero Dave Hughes (causing a few ripples by wearing a Stetson hat) stands with the other recipients of the Distinguished Graduate Award at the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York May 25. The award, by West Point's Association of Graduates, is presented annually to a handful of retired graduates who have been nominated by West Point societies or class presidents, based on military as well as civilian achievements. Hughes' involvement in the business revitalization of Old Colorado City and in advancing computer technology were also noted in his nomination. Pictured are (from left) General William Knowlton, Class of '43; General Robert Shoemaker, '46; Colonel Ralph Puckett, '49; Colonel David Hughes, '50; Denis Mullane, '52; General Glenn Otis, '53; and Colonel John Feagin, '55. According to Hughes, who received the Distinguished Service Cross for his exploits in Korea, "The surviving soldiers in my Company K command gave me that Cavalry Stetson in 1995 at the unveiling of the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC. I lost all 6 of my officers and all but 15 men out of 198 in our last great battles from September 2 to October 7, 1951, along what we established as the DMZ [Demilitarized Zone]... It simply has been customary for the old grads in civilian clothes being honored to be bareheaded at the ceremonies. But they knew the Stetson is my signature identity, and the 7th Cav a storied outfit [it was also Gen. George Custer's at Little Big Horn and Lt. Col. Hal Moore's at the Valley of Death in Vietnam]. The crossed-saber pin with '7' atop it on my Stetson is the officer's emblem I wore in combat in Korea. Three veterans who served with Hughes in Korea attended the ceremonies at West Point.

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