By Mr. Charles Noble
(From left to right: LTC David Dosier, the Military Science Department Chairman and Wes Bjerregarrd, the Huskie Battalion's first Commissionee, pose with the newly unveiled “Huskie Alumni Project” during the Battalion’s Spring Commissioning Ceremony.)
Upon his death in 2006, MAJ(Ret) Thomas Bisping (Commissionee #182) willed a generous sum to the Huskie Battalion. The money came with only one condition: that the Huskie Battalion “Use the money for something big.” With the help of the Huskie Battalion’s first Commissionee, Wes Bjerregaard, MAJ (Ret) Jory Trutt (Commissionee #124,) and MAJ Ahmady Bradley (Commissionee #184) and local sculptor Renee Bemis, the Huskie Battalion kept its promise. During its commissioning ceremony on Friday, May 10th, the Huskie Battalion unveiled that “Something big,” a six foot wooden pyramid covered with small plaques recognizing all of the Huskie Battalion’s Commissionees since its founding in 1968, starting with Wes Bjerregaard(Commissionee #1) and ending with Commissionee #554, 2LT Bradley Wilson, who was commissioned shortly after the unveiling, along with Commissionees #549-553, the Huskie Battalion Class of 2013.
Atop the structure sat the Battalion mascot, a sculpture life size clay Huskie, sculpted by local artist Renee Bemis. Scheduled to be cast in Bronze by a local foundry this summer. Seated in what Renee described as “Watchful anticipation,” the Huskie remains on guard over the plaques representing its commissionees, indicative to the Battalion’s desire to honor the legacy of its graduates. Three graduates held positions of honor on the pyramid, indicated by differently colored plaques: Commissionees #155 and #203, Thomas Bisping and Bonita Hansen received blue colored plaques to represent that they have died since commissioning, and Commissionee #479, CPT David Schultz, with a red colored plaque, to represent that he has been killed in action.
After the unveiling, the class of 2013 took their commissioning oaths, and in the order of their commissioning, they each removed a piece of duct tape that had covered their names, ceremonially inducting them into the long line of Huskie Battalion Alumni. It was certainly a bittersweet moment, as those present could not help but feel pride at the realization of their efforts to bring the Alumni project to life, but also sadness that its driving force, MAJ Bisping, could not be present to see it. In either case, we can only assume that MAJ Bisping would be proud to see his generosity, his desire to see the Battalion create “Something big,” rewarded with a project so enduring.