News Icon

News: Gamberi

Story by Spc. Michael VanpoolSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Running for their fallen Sgt. Michael Vanpool

Capt. Alicia Harness, the commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, and Spc. Andrew Spencer, the guidon bearer, run with the children of Sgt. 1st Class Charles Adkins, April 16. The run honored five soldiers of the 101st STB, including Adkins, who were killed during an attack at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Afghanistan, April 16, 2011.

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – On the morning of April 16, the Sustainers ran for their fallen comrades. They ran for friends that were lost one year ago. They ran for soldiers that will never run again.
The run honored five soldiers of the 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade who were lost in an attack at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Afghanistan, April 16, 2011.

“It was a significant portion of this formation, and we will always remember them on this day as the fallen heroes that left this formation,” said Lt. Col. Derek Bean, the battalion commander
Eighteen Soldiers were stationed at FOB Gamberi for the mentorship mission with the Afghan National Army. One year ago, a suicide bomber walked into a morning briefing, and left seven Americans dead, including an officer based out of Alaska and a civilian contractor.

“Today we honor the lives of six extraordinary soldiers and one selfless serving civilian who were great people and even better friends,” said Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Riggs during a speech after the run. Riggs was a member of the Gamberi team and the battalion’s intelligence section non-commissioned officer in charge for STB.

The start to end point, and every mile marker in-between, represented one of the fallen soldiers from the incident. Plaques of the five soldiers were slated to stand along the route, but the early morning rain showed, once again, that things can change in an instant.

“What [the attack] means for me is that four seconds can change people’s lives,” Riggs said, “but it does not always have to be for the worse.”

The start point was for Sgt. 1st Class Charles Adkins, a native of Sandusky Ohio. Adkins’s kids ran with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, staying close with the guidon all the way until the end.

“I know when I think about Chuck, “Chuck Diesel” as we called him, had three loves, that woman right there, his kids and the game of golf,” Riggs said after the run.

The first mile was for Staff Sgt. Cynthia Taylor, a native of Columbus, Ga.

“And every morning, even when it’s cloudy like this,” said Riggs. “I take time to enjoy the sun and the fresh air, which is what Cindy did before she went into work every morning."

The Sustainers breezed through mile two and three for Sgt. Linda Pierre, of Immokalee, Fla., and Spc. Sonny Moses, of Hagatna, Guam.

“Today’s run is the way both Linda and Sonny would’ve wanted to start their day,” Riggs said.

The final mile was for Spc. Joseph Cemper, of Warrensburg, Mo. He returned to Gamberi two weeks after traveling to see his son’s birth.

“I remember the way Joe Cemper’s eyes would light up when he talked about Abbie [his fiancé] and Liam [his newborn son],” Riggs said during his speech.

After the run finished up, and everyone was cooled down, they recalled the importance of honoring their fallen comrades and living for them.

“So my message for you today, for those that lost someone that day, remember the love for life that each one of friends had and allow yourself to heal so that you too can heal,” Riggs said.

“Remember and honor our heroes, their families, and do not allow a tragic event to kill you from within.”

Connected Media
ImagesRunning for their fallen
Capt. Alicia Harness, the commander of the Headquarters...

Web Views

Podcast Hits

Public Domain Mark
This work, Gamberi, by SGT Michael Vanpool, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:04.16.2012

Date Posted:04.19.2012 11:11


More Like This

  • On Nov. 14, at Camp Slayer in Baghdad, Iraq, Soldiers of the headquarters company, 49th Military Police Brigade, of Fairfield, Calif. ran in the 5K "Run for the Fallen."  They ran in memory of veterans who lost their lives, or were wounded, while serving their country in combat.
  • 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.
  • Soldiers from the 101st Financial Management Support Unit, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and their civilian counterparts held a grand opening ceremony Jan. 16, 2014, at Fort Campbell for the Fort Campbell Defense Military Pay Office. The facility will provide finance and pay support for Fort Campbell.
  • Five U.S. Soldiers were promoted to the ranks of sergeant and staff sergeant at Forward Operating Base Tagab, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, Oct. 1, 2013. 

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Patriot, held a promotion ceremony to recognize the five Soldiers. The promotion candidates included members from 2nd Battalion and 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, from 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.


  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard




  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr