Cavalry spurs only for the best of the best
By Spc. Qualan M. Jefferson
2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment Unit Public Affairs Representative
NEW ORLEANS - Troopers from the 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered in Shreveport, La., gave a young child one of the Cavalry’s most prized possessions—a set of spurs.
The spurs were given to Cameron Bayley, a four-year-old from Mandeville, La., suffering from a disease called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. HLHS is a rare congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped.
Spurs are awarded to those deemed the best of the best in the U.S. Cavalry. Every year during annual training, Soldiers are offered the opportunity to earn their spurs during a Spur Ride. During the course of the ride, spur candidates are subjected to different challenges that test their initiative, military expertise and stamina.
“It’s hard to earn your spurs during a Spur Ride,” said Sgt. Jesse G. Kennedy of Bossier City.
“I gave him [Cameron] mine because he’s a little boy and going through all he’s been through – he deserves a set of spurs.”
Cameron had surgery at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans right before Hurricane Gustav, which prevented the Bayley family from evacuating.
“When he was born, the doctors only gave us two options: take him home and he will die, or let them begin a series of surgeries to correct it,” said Tracy Bayley, Cameron’s mother.
This was Cameron’s third surgery since birth. He will have more as he enters adolescence and adulthood.
“It was fantastic having the Guardsmen here. Cameron was having a bad day until the Guard showed up. The Soldiers helped cheer him up and were here with us throughout the storm,” said Bayley.
Troop B, 2nd Squadron, is assigned to District 2, where the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans is located. They are located in New Orleans to help facilitate citizens’ safe return after evacuating the city in advance of Hurricane Gustav.