The Pentagon’s ongoing efforts to remove Confederate-linked names from military bases continued with the renaming of the U.S. Army’s Fort Benning, now called Fort Moore. It was a historic moment, not just for one soldier, but for his groundbreaking spouse as well.
Hal Moore was the commander of American troops in the bloody 1965 battle of Ia Drang Valley — the first head-to-head clash between American and North Vietnamese soldiers..
“I can’t describe to you really that hell we were in,” Moore told the Vietnam Archives at Texas Tech University about that battle. He recalled “smoke and dust,” and the “screams of the men hollering ‘mom’ or ‘medic.'”
Moore has since died, but Bob Edwards was also there as commander of C Company.
“C Company had started the day with five officers and 106 men, and by 10, there were no unwounded officers. There were 42 men killed,” Edwards said.
Despite losing nearly half the company, “the line had held,” Edwards said.
Edwards and his soldiers were based at what was then called Fort Benning in Georgia. Now, it bears Moore’s name.
“But it’s not named Fort Hal Moore. It’s a family. It’s both Hal Moore and Julie,” Edwards told CBS News.
Julie Moore, whose given name is Julia, was outraged by the impersonal telegrams the U.S. military used to notify families of the dead.
“She raised hell with the Army,” Hal Moore once said. “She raised a fuss all the way up to stop that inhumane practice.”
Because of Julia Moore, the dreaded news of a servicemember’s death is now delivered in person. And she is now the first Army spouse to have a base named after her.
Thanks for reading CBS NEWS.
Create your free account or log in
for more features.