Welcome To The 31st Associations Website

SGT Donald Hamilton

Hello and welcome to the new Association website. We have made an effort to supply users with as much information as possible and will continue to update that information regularly. While most of the site functions are active, the membership and quartermaster modules will not be available until a later date.

Feel free to comment on news, articles, and posts as we encourage healthy and productive discussions. Refrain from sharing political and religious views, because as we all know those two subjects are gateways towards polluting our web pages with personal attacks and vulgarities.

We would like to take the chance to dedicate this website in honor of Mary Doyon; Karl Lowe has prepared the following:

For over a decade, this site was operated by Mary Doyon, who will always be remembered as “Little Sister” to Vietnam veterans of the 6th Battalion and as a friend to all members of the 31st Regiment Association. Mary undertook the project in loving memory of her brother, John P. Mikolaycik, a 1969 to 1970 Vietnam veteran of A Company. She battled cancer for many years but remained active to the end, running the website, serving as our Association’s secretary, and keeping us informed and connected. She died in November 2012. Her steadfast dedication and constant good cheer will deeply missed.

New to the 31st Infantry Association

Last day of gate guard at PB Justice in Khadimiyah Baghdad, 2005. Photo by taken by SPC Andy Stock or SSG Joel Murray (RIP)
Hello,
My name is Chris Sanchez and I deployed with 4-31 IN to Iraq in 2004-2005 and again in 2006-2007. I have maintained a large archive of photos from our deployments. I will write a couple of short articles in the near future discussing some events of this time period.

Pro Patria,

Chris

Velox The Polar Bear

Velox, a massive Polar Bear, arrived at the Denver Zoo in 1941 after perhaps nine years with Ringling Brother’s Circus, but more likely just seven as she may have come to Ringling when she was two years old.News reports note Velox was named as the 31st Infantry Mascot in 1952. Her circus years were at best difficult, there are many reports of Polar Bears dying with Ringling Brother’s. Her winter home in Sarasota, Florida appears to have been much better than the small cages she was kept in during the Circus’s touring season. It was brutal and cruel.

Velox_The_Polar_Bear

Velox quickly became a star attraction at the Denver Zoo for twenty years. Eventually blind she also suffered from varied aliments due to her captivity. Velox is still recalled by all those who visited the zoo during the 40’s until 1961, several generations of children, millions of visitors, and was from World War II, Korea and since a popular date destination for military. Velox seems to have had a difficult zoo mate for a year when she first arrived, a sea lion tormented her until one day she swatted it and well there are two stories, one is she ate it and the other omits that. Velox may have also killed two African lions while with Ringling Bro’s. She was known to splash water and turn a hose on the crowds viewing her.

Her plight was not unknown to America and that is likely part of her appeal, Velox was a featured character in a popular children’s short story by Jean Stafford “Into the Zoo”. This story is still studied by students at the college level. Who, what, when and how the 31st U.S. Infantry took her a mascot is unknown. I recall Velox and my surprise after coming home from Vietnam, on a college date, seeing the 31st Memorial Marker. Then until recently, I forgot about her. Velox fits the kind of Bear that should represent the 31st; she saw much in her long life was a fighter and overcame adversity. Adversity is no stranger to the 31st Infantry, a history from Siberia, China, Bataan and Corregidor; then into North Korea and the final battles of the area that became the DMZ, the years of “peace keeping” in South Korea. Later the Vietnam War, up north in I Corps and down in the Mekong Delta. I served in the 31st up north in the Que Son Valley, later in the Mekong but that was an aviation unit. Now so many years later the 31st is still meeting challenges and adversity with honor and conviction.

Velox_The_Polar_Bear_Grave