The Telluride Austin Hiett American Legion Post #12 is seeking assistance and support in renaming the Telluride Post Office in honor of the late General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who died on Dec. 27, 2012. Schwarzkopf, was not only a great American hero and former supreme allied commander of American forces during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield, but was also a longtime generous and committed member of the Telluride community. The American Legion is proud to join efforts with the Telluride foundation and with the support of the Schwarzkopf family and the Telluride community, believes that renaming this federal building in Schwarzkopf’s honor would be a lasting and fitting tribute to a man that did and cared so much for his country and his community.
General Schwarzkopf was a founding co-chairman of the Telluride Foundation. He served as co-chair from 2000-2007. He retired from the board in 2009 and continued to serve as the honorary chairman, Schwarzkopf and his wife Brenda were residents of Telluride since the early 1990s. He was a regular at the Telluride Fourth of July parade and often assembled and greeted the veterans that marched in the parade and thanked them for their service to their country in uniform. He was an avid outdoorsmen, attracted to the region for its many opportunities to ski, fish, hunt, and hike. He was committed to environmental and youth causes, and a generous contributor to local organizations and the community.
General Schwarzkopf, nicknamed “ Stormin’ Norman,” was a four-star Army general who led the international coalition forces during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, which pushed Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army out of Kuwait. A highly decorated military leader graduated from the U.S. military academy at West Point, New York in 1956. He earned a masters degree in guided-missile engineering from the University of Southern California and later taught engineering at West Point. Schwarzkopf saw combat twice- in Vietnam and Grenada- in a career that included command of units from platoon to theater size, training as a paratrooper, and stints teaching at Army staff colleges. He retired from the military in 1992.
On a personal level I, will never forget the kind words that the general spoke to me, and my brother Seamus on the steps of the San Miguel County courthouse, before my brother’s deployment to Iraq. Our older brother Cpl. Tim Ahern U.S.M.C was decorated in Desert Storm and later died in a training accident in Camp Pendleton in 1993. Schwarzkopf’s kind words that day meant a lot to both my brother and I. So to me it is only fitting that his legacy should be commemorated in Telluride, and I can’t think of a more suitable way to honor this great American hero.
– Brian Ahern, Commander, Austin Hiett American Legion Post #12