Military Affairs Committee
“Military City, USA” is more than just a catchy moniker given to our fine city; did you know that according to Visit San Antonio, 38,000 students annually complete their military training here, and San Antonio proudly boasts one of the larger active and retired military populations in the nation? As one of the largest annual events here in Military City, USA, it’s only fitting that the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo work hand-in-hand with our Armed Forces.
That sizable responsibility lies in the hands of the newly formed Military Affairs committee, helmed by veterans Hu Rhodes and Buster Horlen. Appointed to this committee by Stock Show & Rodeo leadership for their specific experience and abilities, Hu explains their purpose as “Very simple: we will do our part to make the Rodeo’s mission more successful…but there is an interesting devil in the details because we mostly do this by our interaction with the Military”. While exercising the utmost respect for our Armed Forces personnel, this team unites the Rodeo and the Military for a “…common goal of helping our youth to be the best members of society they can be.” This committee truly believes that “Not all great Americans are part of the Rodeo or part of the Military, but our country is still better for the effort we put into developing our youth.”
Buster’s history with the organization dates back to 2005 when, while juggling a career at USAA and in the USAF reserves, he began hosting senior leadership from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard for a Friday night at the Rodeo. His focus led him to serve for a decade on the Rodeo Ticket Committee where an effort was made to solicit funds for rodeo tickets given to basic training graduates.
Now in their formalized role as the Military Affairs committee, efforts are being made to create an ongoing dialogue with leaders from all branches. The uniqueness of Military careers mean changeover every few years, so it is important to continue fostering new relationships as new leaders arrive, and to share the message of how the Stock Show & Rodeo supports the youth of Texas.
They have fun, too. When asked about his favorite fair food, Buster, admittedly a fitness junkie, says he looks forward to splurging a little on AT&T Center treats during military night visits. Their biggest joy comes when uniting this amazing array of community leaders – and often some familiar faces from the rodeo world – for conversation while taking in the event.
Both of these fine gentlemen serve the Stock Show & Rodeo as Life Members, Directors and committee leaders, and we thank them for their service to our organization and our country! Keep an eye out for exciting things to come as this committee establishes themselves…and make sure Buster doesn’t indulge on a second helping of funnel cake.