MARLIN, Texas (KWTX) The Red Horse Unit 555, a special engineering unit who built runways and barrack camps in Vietnam 50 years ago to provide for advancing troops, has a new home in Marlin.
The dedication of a new Red Horse boulder sign at 1 Mesquite Tree Lane in Marlin signaled the opening of a new visitors center, museum, bed and breakfast and souvenir shop. It is located in the sprawling three story home of Rogers and Jean Craig.
"The installation and unveiling of this marker is a first step in converting #1 Mesquite Tree Lane into a Red Horse visitors center," Rogers Craig told the crowd.
Nearly a hundred people, including state senators, state representatives and leaders from Falls and McLennan counties braved the outdoor heat as a giant boulder with the units insignia was unveiled.
State senator Brian Birdwell (R) District 22 said, "Although I love to give the normal grief and friendly spirit with my fellow comrades in arms of the other services, with Rogers and the Red Horse guys, they have my extreme gratitude, as always."
State Representative Doc Anderson praised the Red Horse unit and Rogers: "We very much appreciate his efforts throughout the years. That unit throughout the years and their sacrifices and what they've done for this nation."
The unit's Red Horse name is actually an acronym for Rapid
Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineers.
Rogers Craig is one of 19 unit members still alive. He has been holding reunions at his home for 20 years and, upon the advice of a squadron member, began collecting Vietnam Memorabilia from all members and displaying it as a museum.
Butch Mogavero, whose company Boulder Designs built the new boulder sign, says he is honored to help out. "I've gotten lucky to be where i'm at today and people like these guys are the ones that made it possible and I realize that so i appreciate them and try to give back to them when I can," he said.
The center, which has rooms to rent on the first and second floors, is now open for business.