December 30, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The AdAmAn Club
Colorado Springs, Colorado December 30, 2014----------
This year's climb is dedicated in honor of the 10th Mountain Division and in memory of AdAmAn Ed Kirches who passed
away July 7, 2014 and was a member of the 10th Mountain Division. As listed in the TAPS section of the 2014 Number 3 edition
of the Blizzard, a paper published by and for the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division:
Kirches, Edward J. (87-M), 89, July 7, 2014, Colorado Springs CO. Survived by wife Jane, 2 daughters, 2 granddaughters; predeceased by a son.
Member, NY Bar; employed at Shepard’s Citations, becoming editor-in-chief. Member AdAmAn Club, climbing Pikes Peak on New Year’s Eve for
42 consecutive years; also member Country Club of Colorado, El Paso Club, Broadmoor Skating Club, and attended many 10th Mtn Assn reunions.
The greater Pikes Peak community has lost one of its best. Ed loved the Division he served in as well as the community he lived in. He always
had a smile on his face, made everyone feel welcome as well as comfortable, and made sure you knew he served in the 10th and climbed Pikes Peak as
part of the club. He will be missed but his spirit continues to inspire all who knew him.
The 10th Mountain Division
This unique organization came into being on July 13, 1943, at Camp Hale, Colorado as the 10th Light Division (Alpine). The combat power
of the Division was contained in the 85th, 86th, and 87th Infantry Regiments. The Division’s year of training at the 9,200 foot high Camp
Hale honed the skills of its soldiers to fight and survive under the most brutal mountain conditions.
On November 6, 1944, the 10th Division was redesignated the 10th Mountain Division. That same month the blue and white "Mountain" tab was
The shoulder patch for the 10th was approved on January 7, 1944. The blue background of the patch and the crossed bayonets suggest
the infantry, the bayonets also form a Roman number "X" (10) representing the unit’s number. The overall shape of the patch is of a
powder-keg suggesting the Division’s explosive power. Red, white, and blue suggest the national colors. The word "MOUNTAIN" is white
on a blue tab affixed directly above the patch.
It should be noted that December 22nd, 2014 marked the 70th anniversary of the 10th Mountain Division's arrival in Naples, Italy. February 16th
will mark the 70th anniversary of their first combat near the town of Cutigliano. The final combat for the 10th Division took place in the
vicinity of Lake Garda, a canyon lake at the foothills of the Alps. In
114 days of combat, the 10th Division suffered casualties of 992 killed in action and 4,154 wounded.
After a brief tour of duty in the Army of Occupation in Italy, the 10th was sent to Camp Carson, Colorado. There, on 30 November 1945
, the 10th Mountain Division was disbanded.
Veterans of the 10th Mountain Division were in a large part responsible for the development of skiing into a big name sport and popular
vacation industry after World War II. Ex-soldiers from the 10th laid out ski hills, built ski lodges, designed ski lifts and improved
ski equipment. They started ski magazines and opened ski schools. Vail, Aspen, Sugarbush, Crystal Mountain, and Whiteface Mountain are
but a few of the ski resorts built by 10th Mountain veterans.
The Division was officially reactivated on February 13, 1985, at Fort Drum, New York as the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). The 10th
Mountain Division (LI) was designed to meet a wide range of worldwide infantry-intensive contingency missions. Equipment design was oriented
toward reduced size and weight for reasons of both strategic and tactical mobility.
Since its reactivation, the division and/or elements of the division have deployed numerous times. The division has participated in
Operation Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia), Hurricane Andrew disaster relief (Homestead, Florida), Operation Restore Hope and Operation Continue
Hope (Somalia), Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti), Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Operation Joint Guardian (Kosovo), Operation
Iraqi Freedom (Iraq), and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).
As of September 2014, approximately 312 members of the 10th Mountain Division have been killed in combat actions since the unit was reactivated
The freedoms enjoyed in this country should not be taken for granted.
We live in the land of the free, because of the brave. Be that the brave of World War II or the brave of today, it is the brave like Ed
Kirches, veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, AdAmAn, father, grandfather, citizen, who make this country so very great.