Retired Maj. Gen. Spurgin named grand marshal for rodeo parade

Saluting veterans is a tradition Howard County is proud of, and one which continues with the upcoming Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo Parade.Retired Texas Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Eddy M. Spurgin will serve as grand marshal of the event, set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 22.“We are tickled to death to be able to honor some of our heros who have kept this country free,” said Quail Dobbs, parade coordinator. “We are indebted to him. And when we asked him, he said he was happy to do it.”Happy indeed.“I am very honored and humbled they selected me,” said Spurgin, who also serves as district conservationist with the National Resources Conservation Service. “I’m really looking forward to the parade. I appreciate the rodeo association selecting me for this honor.”Parade participants will line up at 11th and Main and make their way north on the divided street, circle the courthouse and come back south on Main to where they started. No, it won’t be going up Scurry this year, except for the one block stretch between Third and Fourth streets.Those planning to participate are asked to turn in a parade entry form to the Big Spring Herald, 710 Scurry, by noon Monday, June 17 so organizers can line up the various vehicles and four-legged animals.There will be awards presented in eight categories: float, riding club,custom/classic car, bicycle, tractor, antique car, antique tractor antique truck.Who’s eligible to participate?“Anyone at all can enter. The more the merrier,” said Dobbs.Entry forms are available in most issues of the Herald or at the Herald office.The Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo — in its 80th year — will be held June 20-22 at the Big Spring Rodeo Bowl. Gates open at 7 p.m. and the grand entry begins at 8. Spurgin, who recently spoke at Big Spring Memorial Day services, serves as committee chair for the Texas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. He served more than 30 years in the Texas Army National Guard and the United States Army and commanded from the company level to division commander. He commanded the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard from April 2009 to January 2012 and served as the Commanding General, United States Division-South (USD-S) in Basra, Iraq from January 2011 to September 2011 during Operation New Dawn. During this deployment, he was responsible for all combat and stability operations of U.S. forces in the southern nine provinces of Iraq.In his civilian career, he has served for more than 30 years with the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. He is the district conservationist with the NRCS in Big Spring and has responsibility for supervision and management of a natural resources conservation team serving Howard, Mitchell, Nolan and Taylor counties. The team provides technical assistance to farmers and ranchers in the planning and application of conservation practices on cropland, pastureland and rangeland.Gen. Spurgin received his bachelor of science degree in animal science from Texas A&M University in 1980 and received a master of science in strategic studies from the United States Army War College in 2002.He and his wife Nancy reside in Big Spring.