News: Soldiers honor fallen comrades with memorial run
Story by Sgt. Leejay Lockhart
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Soldiers of the 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), from Fort Campbell, Ky., arrived early for physical training April 16, 2013, to commemorate one of the most tragic days in the battalion’s history. Headed by recently cased colors, the unit stretched as the first rays of sunlight began to appear on the horizon. Lt. Col. Derek G. Bean, the battalion commander, addressed his somber formation shortly before the start of the second annual Gamberi Memorial Run.
“Today marks the second anniversary of the incident that happened … April 16, 2011, at FOB [Forward Operating Base] Gamberi,” said Bean. “On this day two years ago … [an] insider threat took five members of our formation.”
The unit members who died in the attack are Sgt. 1st Class Charles Lewis Adkins, 35, of Sandusky, Ohio. Spc. Joseph Brian Cemper, 21, of Warrensburg, Mo. Spc. Sonny Moses, 22, of Hagatna, Guam. Sgt. Linda Lamou Pierre, 28, of Immokalee, Fla. and Staff Sgt. Cynthia Renea Taylor, 39, of Columbus, Ga.
In addition to the five soldiers from the 101st Special Troops Battalion, the attack also killed Capt. Charles E. Ridgley Jr., 40, of Baltimore, Md., Master Sgt. (Ret.) Paul Almryde, 46, of San Diego, and four members of the Afghan National Army.
Venerating the sacrifices that soldiers have made is an important tradition across the Army. So for the second year in a row, the unit brought out photos of the battalion’s five fallen soldiers, reminding veterans and informing new members of the battalion’s formation of the sacrifice those Soldiers made at FOB Gamberi.
The Army calls family members of fallen soldiers Gold Star Families. In a letter dated December 20, 2011 Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno addressed the importance of Gold Star Families.
“I know that words will never fully express the sense of loss that you feel, but I assure you that our Army and our Nation will never forget those that bravely gave their last full measure in defense of our freedom,” wrote Odierno. “I humbly thank all of you on behalf of the soldiers, civilians and families of the United States Army.”
Although words will never bring back the dead, comrades-in-arms, unit leadership and the Army work to keep their memory alive. The Gamberi Memorial Run is just one way of doing that.
Friends and Families of the fallen joined the soldiers in the memorial run. The Adkins’ family honored the battalion by joining the unit for the remembrance. Adkins’ children ran with the battalion’s commander Bean and the unit colors at the head of the formation.
“It’s a day we’ll never forget,” said Bean. “It’s a day that will always be with us. It’s a day that as long as I’m in command, we’ll continue to do these Gamberi runs.”
With the latest deployment drawing near, the run was a sad reminder of the dangers and challenges soldiers face down range as they step up to protect the Nation.
“It’s something that we always have to keep in the back of our minds as to what’s happened and those that we’ve lost,” said Bean. “We’re going to deploy here shortly and some of us will find ourselves in the same FOBs and the same AOs [Area of Operation]. We’ll always take forward the memories of those that have come before us.”
Date Posted:04.17.2013 08:48
Location:FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US
Hometown:BALTIMORE, MD, US
Hometown:COLUMBUS, GA, US
Hometown:IMMOKALEE, FL, US
Hometown:SAN DIEGO, CA, US
Hometown:SANDUSKY, ERIE, OH, US
Hometown:WARRENSBURG, MO, US