News: Memorial to fallen soldiers dedicated
Story by Sgt. Christine Samples
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Five fallen soldiers were honored with a unique monument during a memorial dedication service at the 375th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion compound here March 17.
Inspired by the National 9/11 Memorial, the monument consists of a small reflecting pool with fountain, a five foot tall Freedom Tower made out of reinforced concrete covered with mirrored Plexiglas and a concrete wall measuring seven feet covered with black granite.
Etched in plaques on the wall are the names of the five soldiers: Sgt. Devin Daniels, Spc. Shawn Muhr, Spc. Joshua Campbell, Pfc. Alberto Obod and Cpl. Colby Richmond.
“Memorials are for the living,” said Brig. Gen. Les Carroll, commander of Joint Sustainment Command-Afghanistan, a speaker at the ceremony. “These great Americans weren’t perfect men. They were just like every one of you. They were soldiers who raised their hands and said, ‘Send me’,” Carroll told the audience that the fallen soldiers were willing to sacrifice all they had in this world for something greater than themselves and that’s why we honor them and pray for their families, but we memorialize them for ourselves.
“Memorials challenge us and they remind us,” said Carroll.
Muhr, 26, and Campbell, 22, both with the 546th Transportation Company out of Fort Bragg, N.C., were killed Jan. 29, 2011 by an improvised explosive device. Richmond, 28, and Daniels, 22, also with the 546th were killed Aug. 25 by an IED. Obod, 26, with the 240th Quartermaster Supply Company out of Bamberg, Germany, died Aug. 28 in a tactical vehicle accident.
Members of a private logistics support company working in Afghanistan built the memorial and gave it to the 375th as a way to show their support and appreciation. The monument is not only for the fallen soldiers, but for the ones who will see it every day as they go about their duties.
The memorial was designed so it can be dismantled and moved to the United States when the last unit leaves Afghanistan. Until then, it will remain on the compound as a testament to the five soldiers’ sacrifice.