From his mountain home in Golden, 92-year-old Dick Over has filled his walls with the pages and chapters of his life with 10th Mountain Division.
As a young man of 18-years-old, Over came to Camp Hale near Leadville to take part in a radical idea— training soldiers to ski and climb mountains while fighting.
“Given the opportunity to go to a special unit, we were able to strap on our skis and head up to the high parts and we had just started some rock climbing training,” Over said.
Those skills caught the Nazis off guard at Riva Ridge in World War II and are still taught today.
The 10th Mountain Division was one of the most deployed units in Iraq and Afghanistan, with 20 deployments. Soon, that training will be used with Colorado National Guard Troops.
“They’re going to get winter training at Camp Hale this coming winter,” Over said.
The 10th Mountain Division -- now based in New York -- hasn’t really trained at Camp Hale since the 1940s, but this Sunday they will back for a special ceremony.
“It’s called a patching ceremony,” Over said. “From now on the Colorado National Guard will wear the 10th Mountain Patch."
The tough training will be held in extreme weather and temperatures, but Over is happy to see mountain training in Colorado will continue with a new generation of soldiers.