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Pictured above: Members of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. – San Mateo, March 24, 2018, photo by the Office of Senator Jerry Hill.
The City of San Mateo embarked on “Operation Eagle Visit” on March 23-25, 2018, to mark the 50th anniversary of the City of San Mateo’s adoption of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. The division, known as a Screaming Eagles, is based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The bond between San Mateo and the unit grew out of the efforts of local resident Linda Patterson, who persuaded the city to adopt the unit after receiving a letter from her brother, Sergeant Joe Artavia, stationed in Vietnam, who asked whether she could do something to help raise the morale of his fellow soldiers. San Mateo’s agreement to adopt the unit as a gesture of friendship and concern for the troops deployed overseas became a memory that the family, the unit and the city cherished. Nineteen-year-old Sergeant Artavia died in combat three weeks after the adoption.
With its support of Alpha Company, San Mateo became the first city to adopt a unit of the U.S. armed forces, an effort that now includes hundreds of other U.S. cities. In addition to the San Mateo, eight other Peninsula cities have adopted companies of the 101st Airborne Division: Burlingame, Hillsborough, Foster City, Millbrae, Belmont, San Carlos, San Bruno and Atherton.