THE TEXAS AGGIES--NO ONE QUITE LIKE 'EM
(Extensions of Remarks - June 26, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1143-E1144]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                THE TEXAS AGGIES--NO ONE QUITE LIKE 'EM

                                 ______
                                 

                              HON. TED POE

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 26, 2012

  Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, the sun was lazily rising on the 
horizon. It was around breakfast time on a stunning Sunday morning. It 
was quiet, peaceful, calm. People felt secure. There was a small 
tropical breeze as the American flag was being raised on a nearby 
flagpole.
  Suddenly over the horizon, a large formation of aircraft darkened the 
glistening sky. They broke formation and dove down from the sky, 
unleashing a fury of deadly, devastating bombs and torpedoes on a quiet 
place called Pearl Harbor in the Pacific Ocean. It was on that day, 70 
years ago, when sailors, soldiers, airmen, and marines saw war declared 
on America. It was December 7, 1941.
  Over 5,000 miles away from terror stood a small, quiet town covered 
in maroon decor known as College Station, Texas. College Station is not 
only home to Texas A University's Fightin' Texas Aggies, but also to 
the patriotic Corps of Cadets. Around campus you can spot the Corps of 
Cadets marching in sync wearing the uniform that matches their rank 
whether it is brown leather boots or trousers made of serge material.
  December usually holds a brisk chill in the air in College Station, 
but the Texas sun kept the weather from being unbearable. Word traveled 
fast of chaos on the Pacific as America became engaged in another world 
war. Aggie tradition tells us that on that day teenagers turned 
soldiers when the entire 1942 junior class enlisted into the war along 
with half of their senior level comrades. They were all volunteers. 
They stood together as Aggies, brothers, Texans and Americans. They 
stood shoulder to shoulder and raised their right hands in unison and 
swore to defend their homeland. College Station became an image in a 
rear view mirror as pens and pencils were traded for guns and ammo. 
They left Texas to go fight on small islands in the Pacific, brutal 
deserts in North Africa and bloody beaches in Italy and France.
  The year 1942 was also the time of the most well-known Aggie Muster 
under the command of General George Moore during World War II. Aggie 
Muster is on April 21st which also happens to be San Jacinto Day, the 
day Texas won independence at the battle of San Jacinto in 1836. Amid 
fierce enemy fire, General Moore and 25 fellow Aggies mustered in the 
trenches and caves on Corregidor in the Philippines. A war 
correspondent observed the make-shift ceremony and the world was 
introduced to the Aggie spirit. Every one of those Aggies were either 
killed or captured by the Japanese. Four years later when the Americans 
returned with Gen. McArthur and retook the island the Aggies mustered 
again. When I went to the Philippines recently, I saw a photo of those 
returning Aggies on the fortress wall of the Malinta Tunnel on 
Corregidor.
  According to Aggie Muster tradition, ``if there is an A man in one 
hundred miles of you, you are expected to get together, eat a little, 
and live over the days you spent at the A College of Texas.'' During 
times of war, Muster is especially poignant. Texas A has produced 
more officers in the United States military than even West Point. It 
has the distinction, other than West Point, of having more Medal of 
Honor recipients than any other university in the United States. When 
General George Patton was in Europe going into combat in the Third 
Army, he made a comment about the Texas Aggies and the soldiers that he 
had under his command. He said, ``Give me an army of West Point 
graduates and I will win a battle. You give me a handful of Texas 
Aggies, and I will win the war.''

  The Aggies' long tradition of duty and service to our great nation 
dates back to their beginning, to the days when A was an all-male 
military academy. Texas A trained nearly 4,000 troops during World 
War I and over 20,000 Aggies served in World War II, 14,000 as 
officers. World War II was hard. Millions served in uniform overseas; 
millions served on the home front; all sacrificed for the cause of 
America. Many of them gave their lives all over the globe in places 
known only to God.
  The Aggie band doesn't play an Aggie ``Fight Song''. There is no such 
thing. The band plays the ``Aggie War Hymn'', quite a different 
concept. The ``Aggie War Hymn'' was written by Aggie Marine J.V. 
``Pinky'' Wilson while standing guard on the Rhine River during World 
War I. It remains the most recognizable school war hymn across the 
country--probably the world.
  Today, Muster is observed in more than 400 places worldwide and this 
year's ``Roll Call of the absent'' honored 970 people around the world, 
including those remarkable young men and women who gave their lives for 
our country in lands far far away. While Muster is a time to honor 
those that have died, it also is a time when Aggies, young and old, 
come together to reconnect and celebrate a way of life known only to 
those that proudly hail from Aggieland.
  Muster means different things to different people. Every Aggie will 
tell you something different, something personal about what it means to 
them as an Aggie. One thing that is consistent in every answer is their 
dedication to tradition. It is the rich heritage of tradition that sets 
Texas A apart from all the rest. It is the Corps, the Aggie War Hymn, 
the 12th Man, Midnight Yell, Bonfire, Texas State pride

[[Page E1144]]

and as much as it pains me to say it--it's TU. It's the Fightin' Texas 
Aggie Band, Silver Taps and ``Hallabaloo, Canek, Canek.'' It's the 
Junction Boys, Howdy, Gig'em, Reveille, the Dixie Chicken and of 
course, the ring. But above all else--it's Muster.
  Most of the junior class of '42 who fought in World War II have died 
as with most of the veterans of World War II. But, in Texas we remember 
them all this July 4th. Seventy years after, when America called they 
all answered to the sound of reveille.
  There is nothing quite like an Aggie. Gig 'Em.
  And that's just the way it is.

                          ____________________