Sunday, March 3, 2013

Trooper Ernest H. Collier, Fiddler's Green

April 1, 1922 - February 17, 2013

With a heavy heart and sincere sympathy, we honor,

Trooper Ernest “Sarge” Collier


Fiddler’s Green

When a cavalryman dies, he mounts up and begins a long ride
to his ultimate destination. About half-way along the road
he enters a broad meadow dotted with trees
and crossed by many streams known as,“Fiddler’s Green.”  

As he enters “The Green” he finds an old canteen, a single spur,
and a carbine sling. Continuing on the road he comes to a field camp
where he finds all the troopers who have gone before him
with their campfires, tents and picket lines neatly laid out.

All other branches of the military must continue to march without
 pause. Cavalrymen though are authorized to dismount, unsaddle and
stay in Fiddler’s Green, their canteens ever full, the grass always
green, and enjoy the companionship and reminisce with old friends.

Trooper Collier's Obituary:

Ernest Herman Collier was born on April 1, 1922 at Fort Stotsenberg in the Philippine Islands to William an Feliza DeLeon Santos Collier. The family moved to San diego in 1929, and Ernest was the oldest of ten siblings.

He attended Stockton Elementary, Memorial Junior High, and San diego High School where he played football, ran track and was Co-Captain of the track team. During his time there he was active in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) as an officer. After graduating from San Diego High he attended Santa Ana Junior College and became a distance runner on the track team, he won many awards and trophies. Ernest was an assistant starter on the US Olympic team beginning in early 1979. He was on the training committee for San Diego Mesa Olympic Training Center and the official starter for California State track meets.

Ernest, affectionately known as "Sarge", was a member of St. Rita's Catholic Church in San Diego, California. He was the first altar boy at Christ the King Catholic Church at an early age. Sarge participated in many church functions, especially the Friday night Bingo games at St. Rita's and was an active member of the Knights of Peter Claver.

Ernest enlisted in the United States Army, where he was assigned to the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, known as the Buffalo Soldiers in 1942, and then trained at Fort riley, Kansas and fort Clark, texas for moderate combat  duty. His medals and memberships earned over the years have been very impressive: the American Defense Service Medal, the European African Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and the Korea Victory Medal. He was seriously injured for the third time in the battle of Pusan, Korea; he was sent to the Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, California where he was awarded the Purple Heart by general Mark Clark. He received an honorable discharge in 1954. He is a life member of the Order of Purple Heart (MOPH) #49 and Disabled Veterans Chapter 2, member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, San Diego, the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association of San Diego and Los Angeles, the 1402 Army Engineers Association, the Infantry Association and a life member of the Marine Memorial Association.

Sarge was a member of the San Diego Friends of Allensworth Chapter #12, where he served as an advisor. He was honored to have one of the original Buffalo Soldiers as part of the Governing body. As a volunteer at the Neighborhood House in Logan Heights, he taught sports and english language to non-english speaking children. He had a giving spirit, always willing to help the less fortunate. Sarge has given many donations to help the needy, or red the hungry, or whatever the need may be. Each year he donated turkeys to his church to make sure others had a blessed Thanksgiving. His donations were endless.

He had outstanding work ethics, need believed in wasting time when there was work to be done. After 22 years of service with the United States Federal Government Civil Service, Sarge retired from North Island, San Diego, California.

On February 17, 2013 Ernest "Sarge" Herman Collier departed from this life around 4:45 a.m. at the Veterans Hospital in La Jolla, California. He leaves his family to cherish his memory. His wife Juanita, nearly 60 years of marriage, daughters Michelle Hearns her husband rodney o Colorado Springs, CO, Evaughn Collier of Richmond, CA, son Michael Dean Collier of Detroit, MI, adopted son Troy Walker of San Diego, CA, sisters Birdie Baldwin of Los Angeles, CA, Mary Agnes Jackson, Adeline Alexander and brother Williams Collier all of Los Angeles, CA. A thanks to niece Julia Collier and Jennifer Henry, who took excellent care of Sarge and Juanita, fie grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, a host of nieces and nephews, church family and a host of friends. His mother, father, two sisters Rachel Collier Tucker and Ophelia Collier and brother Simeon DeLeon Collier preceded Ernest in death. Sarge will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Red Tails A formula for success.

Go see this movie! Red Tails is a fictionalized account of the difficulties and heroic achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen! The movie starts in 1944 with America embroiled in World War II in the Pacific and European Theaters. The focus of the story takes place at Ramitelli Airbase in Italy, home of the 332nd Fighter Group, and follows the lives of a small group of young, but experienced pilots, with support from the ground crews whose job it is to keep the aircrafts flying.

There has been a lot of criticism made of George Lucas and his so called Hollywood formula predictive screenplay. Let me say this about formulas. A formula is a mathematical expression designed to produce the right answer. E=mc2 is a formula and its answer unlocked the secret of the atom and produced the most destructive weapon ever created by man. If someone tries to discourage you from seeing this movie and their argument is that some type of formula was used to develop the screenplay; just say "So what!" and go see it for yourself. Even though I was invited to the premiere in Los Angeles, I went to see the movie on its opening weekend, paid full price for my ticket, and I was glad I did. When you do go to see "Red Tails," take your kids with you. The characters in this film are not perfect, they have flaws, but the handicaps that they were able to overcome, in themselves and in the racist minds of society during that time... well, that's the stuff heroes are made of! “COURAGE HAS NO COLOR!” "Red Tails" is in theaters now, and is rated PG-13.

Trooper Ron Jones with co-star Marcus T. Paulk, who plays, David 'Deke' Watkins, one of the Tuskegee Airmen pilots.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Yes Joshua, there still are Buffalo Soldier.

The following is a fictionalized account of an event that did not really take place. But then, isn’t that what fictionalize means? Anyway, because this is the holiday season, and after meeting the little trooper, Joshua Sims, I thought I would have some fun with an editorial by newsman, Francis Pharcellus Church. Mr. Church wrote a response to a letter from a little 8-year old girl named Virginia. His editorial was published in New York’s “The Sun” newspaper on September 21, 1897. It has become known as, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause,” and it is a reminder that the Holiday Season is truly a time for our children. So, without further adieu I give you:

“Yes, Joshua there still are Buffalo Soldiers.”

Dear Editor: I am a 3rd grader at the C.L.A.S. Charter School. This past October I dressed as a Buffalo Soldier for our Fall Festival. All my little friends told me that there were no more Buffalo Soldiers. I asked my mother and she said, “If you read it in the BUGLE CALL it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, are there still Buffalo Soldiers?

Joshua Sims

Los Angeles, CA.

Joshua, your little friends are wrong. They have been deprived by a lack of books, movies and programming that should be available to cover the rich history that is the Buffalo Soldiers. They have been affected by an institutionalized attempt to withhold the contributions of African Americans to the development, growth and protection of this great nation. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Joshua, whether they be man’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Joshua, there still are Buffalo Soldiers. They exists as surely as devotion, unselfishness, generosity and love for this country exists, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How different would the world be if there never were any Buffalo Soldiers? If would be as different as if there never was a Joshua. There would be no childlike faith then, no childlike curiosity and infinite imagination to make tolerable this existence. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Without the Buffalo Soldiers there would be no Tuskegee Airmen, no Montfort Point Marines and no Triple Nickel Parachute Unit; there would be no Navajo Code Talkers or 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated regiment in the history of the United States armed forces and they were made up of Japanese Americans. Without the Buffalo Soldiers there would be no minorities or women in the military. The Buffalo Soldiers were the first minorities to serve in the regular peacetime military and they opened the door for all the minorities who came after them.

Joshua, the number of original Buffalo Soldiers gets smaller everyday. They are the last of our World War II and Korean War veterans. But even after the last one of them has gone, the Buffalo Soldiers will continue to exist. They will exist because of you Joshua and children like you. When you dress-up as a Buffalo Soldier you are helping to keep their memory alive. When your friends ask you who were the Buffalo Soldiers, and you’re able to tell their story; you are helping to keep their legacy going. And when people are able to read the truth about the Buffalo Soldiers in the BUGLE CALL, I am helping to educate an uninformed populace about the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers and together Joshua, you and I will keep their memory alive.

Yes Joshua, because of you there will always be Buffalo Solders.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


There is a saying in the military, "For the good of the corps." It has a lot of different interpretations. It could mean, you are being asked to put aside your own self interests and make a personal sacrifice for your unit or your command... and you would do it... for the good of the corps. You may get reassigned to a different location or a new duty responsibility that you didn't want or asked for, but you accept it... for the good of the corps. Sometimes, just sometimes; "For the good of the corps," means contributing a joke or a story that helps the morale of the unit.

I want to thank my cousin, Linda in Aruba, for bringing this gem to my attention.

On November 13, 2010 a Mass Choir inconspicuously gathered in a food court in Welland, Ontario and quietly settled down, with unsuspecting diners, for lunch. 31 million and counting, views later, this video is still a great example of how one group can inspire, move, motivate, and entertain another group with a smile and a simple act of kindness and charity. It reminds me of the song; "Reach out and touch, somebody's hand..."

By providing you the link to this video I have extended my hand to you. Now it's up to you to meet me half way.


If you are having problems with the link above, just cut and paste this URL into your browser:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Buffalo Soldiers and Montford Point Marines were present to honor the
City Of Inglewood's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech contest winners.

The City of Inglewood 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King Day Celebration

I have been photographed with true American Heroes, entertainers, superstar athletes and celebrities, but never have I felt more positive about our future and more honored to be seen with then I did when photographed with these young men and women; winners of the City of Inglewood's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech contest. Under the banner of "Believe, Achieve and Succeed," these young people spoke about their dreams and they were funny, emotional, uplifting, inspiring, moving, touching and positive. If these young people represent our leaders of tomorrow, we are leaving things in good hands.

I want to thank the City of Inglewood for inviting us to be a part of their 28th Annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Inglewood was one of the first cities in the nation to designate Dr. King's birthday a legal holiday. Congratulations Inglewood, the City of Champions.

Lest we forget:


By: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., August 28, 1963

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, nad the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew our of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Disneyland Salutes American Heroes

Trooper Bobby McDonald and I were honored to be included with other VIP guests who were invited to be present as Disneyland Resorts saluted two American Heroes; Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, and Silver Star recipient Staff Sgt. Erick Gallardo.

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient,
Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta

Trooper Ron Jones with Silver Star Recipient Staff Sgt. Erick Gallardo.

Trooper Bobby McDonald with Silver Star Recipient
Staff Sgt. Erick Gallardo at Disneyland on Main Street U.S.A.

The Dapper Dan's perform at the ceremony honoring
Staff Sgt.'s Gallardo and Giunta.

Disney Executive John Nicoletti, VP of Communications prepares to
present Staff Sgt. Gallardo and Staff Sgt. Giunta with special Mickey statues.

Staff Sgt. Giunta is presented with the American Flag.

Members of the Buffalo Soldiers, the U.S. Army and government
representatives were present as special guests for the Disney program.

This is the "Saluting Mickey" presented to Medal of Honor Recipient
Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Over the years I have tried to keep our members informed by periodically publishing a newsletter that I call, "BUGLE CALL." I didn't know what I was doing when I started and I still don't know what I'm doing, but I've always tried to do the best I could. That is all I can ask of myself.

My blog gives me the opportunity to archive these newsletters and make them available to the world. They were produced for members of the Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter of the NINTH & TENTH (HORSE) CAVALRY ASSOCIATION and now we share them with you.


Newsletter APR 2004