On this historic Veteran’s Day Weekend, two World War I heroes legacies were being remembered at the Museum of North Texas History.
Two men, Lieutenant Alfred Holt Pat Carrigan, and Private Calvin Achavit came from very different backgrounds before serving this country, but both are now remembered for their heroism during World War I.
Lt. Pat Carrigan was the grandson of Judge Barwise, who is considered by many the founder of Wichita Falls. He left classes at the University of Texas to serve his country.
“They were nationalized and they went to France as a second lieutenant,” said Bill Steward, the Wichita County Archivist. “He was killed getting one of his men, a private, out of the barbed wire in no man’s land. He didn’t send anyone else to do it. He did it. He was shot in the neck by a German sniper and killed.”
Private Calvin Atchavit was a member of the Comanche Nation and was a Comanche Code Talker during the war.
“He was wounded and even though he was wounded he captured one enemy man, one enemy soldier,” said Robert Atchavit, Calvin Atchavit’s nephew. “For that, he was given the award the silver cross and also a certificate from the Belgium government.”
Achavit didn’t know his uncle was even in the military for years, but he is glad he gets to share his uncle story.
“I was excited and proud to be his nephew as the years have gone by the Comanche nation has honored my Uncle Calvin at all military functions,” Atchavit said. “It’s very heartening to be able to tell my story, especially as a Native people. How we were not treated.”
Steward was happy to see how many people came to show their support to veterans and says it is incredibly important to remember those who served.
“It’s fulfilling a necessity,” Steward said. “Especially when it comes to sacrifice. Sacrifice can be interpreted in many different ways and today we saw two prime examples of sacrifice in Pat Carrigan and Calvin Atchavit who came from two completely different walks of life. I was pleasantly surprised at the crowd that we had down here. It’s a real tribute to those who have sacrificed.”
Remembering all who served this country on this Veterans Day Weekend.
Here is more information about another event commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.