Triple Deuce reunites as ‘family’ with resounding ‘Golden Boys’ song

WASHINGTON CITY — A group of National Guardsmen met for a reunion that played tribute to those members who sacrificed their lives for the country.

Veterans of the Utah National Guard 2nd Battalion 222nd Field Artillery gather for a reunion at the Staheli Family Farm. Washington, Utah, September 10, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News.
Veterans of the Utah National Guard 2nd Battalion 222nd Field Artillery gather for a reunion at the Staheli Family Farm. Washington, Utah, September 10, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News.

Utah National Guard 2nd Battalion 222nd Field Artillery, veterans and active alike, gathered for a reunion with family and friends at the Staheli Family Farm in Washington City, Saturday afternoon.

Retired artilleryman Kelly Kleinman organized the event after garnering interest for the 222nd Field Artillery Golden Boys, or “Triple Deuce” as the battalion is affectionately known, on Facebook.

This event in particular is like a big extended family reunion,” Kleinman said. “We’re here as a celebration for everyone who spent some time in the Triple Deuce.”

The reunion featured a tribute to all deceased former members of the 222nd in which a moment of silence was observed.

Sergeant Adrian Hinton and his sons of the Utah National Guard 2nd Battalion 222nd Field Artillery attend a reunion at the Staheli Family Farm. Washington, Utah, September 10, 2016 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News.
Sergeant Adrian Hinton and his sons of the Utah National Guard 2nd Battalion 222nd Field Artillery attend a reunion at the Staheli Family Farm. Washington, Utah, September 10, 2016 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News.

For Kole Staheli, who served as full time gunnery sergeant in active field reserve with the 222nd for over 20 years, the reunion held special meaning.

“This event is extra special to me … to remember my father who was the first sergeant of the 222nd Field Artillery, specifically Battery B,” Kole Staheli said.

“The existing National Guard armory is named in his honor as the Stanley A. Staheli National Guard Armory,” Kole Staheli said. “He passed away, it was an untimely death at the age of just 49; and he impacted the lives of most of these men prior to his death. … He was a true father of the unit.”

Sgt. Adrian Hinton, a long-serving veteran of the 222nd, was thrilled to learn of the reunion.

“I’ve been wanting to know what the Triple Deuce has been doing all this time,” Hinton said. “I was just so excited to know there was something like this to bring us all together again.”

Veterans of the Utah National Guard 2nd Battalion 222nd Field Artillery gather for a reunion at the Staheli Family Farm. Washington, Utah, September 10, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News.
Veterans of the Utah National Guard 2nd Battalion 222nd Field Artillery gather for a reunion at the Staheli Family Farm. Washington, Utah, September 10, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News.

Hinton and three of his sons served together at Fort Lewis in Washington state training ROTC cadets.

Guests were served lunch on the Staheli farm property and treated to a short performance of the battalion’s “Golden Boys” marching song.

It was the group’s first reunion, but members are considering making it an annual gathering.

The 222nd has a long history in Utah with roots dating back to the 1846 Mormon Battalion. Among other things, the Triple Deuce was deployed on a security mission to Iraq in 2011.

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Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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