HAZEN — A group of local veterans made the trek to visit a forgotten veteran of World War II, “Teddy” the horse. The vets formed ranks, fired a volley over their comrade’s grave and stood at attention while “Taps” was played.
This was not the vets first journey to the grave along the Sulgar Road. When it was discovered an honor guard paid the proper tribute to him. Like others in his unit, this vet was never accorded the military honors due him. In fact, his story was almost unknown until a few years ago and that may not be surprising because this vet was a horse. That did not deter the members of The American Legion Post 102 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 204 in Brookville from providing full honors for “Teddy.”
As stated at the original service, “Teddy was a brave cavalry horse having served with the Pennsylvania National Guard’s First Cavalry. Teddy was a troop horse in Troop A from Clearfield. Teddy was placed here in 1963 with no honors. Today we give him those honors he so rightly deserves.”
That may have been the end of this tale except for an unfortunate mishap. The area around Teddy’s grave was being timbered and a log skitter struck the original marker and broke the stone. The contractor replaced the grave marker.
The veterans returned to the site to re-dedicate Teddy’s grave.
“We were here when the first stone was dedicated so we felt it was important to be here when the second stone was dedicated,” said VFW Commander Bill Littlefield.
“This is a part of the ceremony of life,” said VFW member Ira Minor.
The traditional 21 gun salute rippled across the glade, fired by the members of the Brookville Honor Guard.
“Teddy” (also known as “Old Ted”) was owned by Mrs. Barbara (Humphrey) Marder of Mt. Lebanon after his stint in the cavalry.
Sid Kroh was the owner of Oak Grove Stables where Teddy was stabled. The stable stood near where Carrier’s Woodworking Shop is today on Route 322.
A World War II marker and United States Flag have been placed next to Teddy’s grave. The words on the gravestone read:
The legend has been outlined to make it easier read.
Like the cavalry itself, Teddy is gone, living only in memory; a memory that still touches the hearts of the people who knew him.