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I grew up military, and eventually enlisted, myself, so we moved around a lot. The one place I remember the best, and best equate to home is a small town in southern Arizona called Sierra Vista. Sierra Vista is a quiet gem; somewhere you could drive past hundreds of times without even knowing it’s there. However, even in its seclusion, it holds quite a few historically significant honors, and a couple less impressive but mildly quirky notions. When you take people who know about Sierra Vista, there are only two kinds; those that were there because of the military, whether it is from serving or from being a dependent or civilian contractors, or those that study American military history. Sierra Vista was established as a support community for the United States Army Cavalry post that was later dubbed Fort Huachuca. On this post was one of the most famous mounted cavalry units ever assembled – The “Buffalo Soldiers”. In 1866, six regiments of all-black Soldiers were established by the U.S. Congress, consisting of the 9th and 10th Cavalry, and the 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st Infantry regiments. The 10th Calvary, dubbed the “Buffalo Soldiers” by the Native American tribes in the area because of the darker skin and curly hair, according to local legend, maintained its headquarters at Fort Huachuca (Frank Schubert, “Buffalo Soldiers: Myths and Realities”). The Buffalo Soldier Museum is still there today. On a more whimsical note, Sierra Vista happens to have also been home to the very first McDonald’s Drive-thru (Ethel Jackson Price, “Sierra Vista: Young City with a Past”). In 1974, the restaurant manager wanted to show his support for the Soldiers stationed at Fort Huachuca, who weren’t allowed to get out of their car while wearing their fatigues. He paid from his own pocket to have a new door installed and had an employee stand outside to take orders. In January, 1975, the Drive-thru was fully operational, and was so well received that by 1976, McDonald’s corporate executives ordered them to be installed in other restaurants. This building, however, was demolished in 1999 and replaced with a more updated and fire code friendly McDonald’s restaurant. I know it wasn’t the intended subject, and the significance might not be as great as some other cities around the world, but Sierra Vista is my home, and it is an ever expanding beauty, hidden from the troubles of the outside world.

Frank Schubert, “Buffalo Soldiers: Myths and Realities”, 2002 Ethel Jackson Price, “Sierra Vista: Young City with a Past”, 2005…...

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