News: Murfreesboro armory dedicated to fallen Tennessee Guardsman
Story by Capt. Darrin Haas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee National Guard dedicated and renamed Murfreesboro’s National Guard armory, located on 2350 Armory Drive, in honor of 1st Lt. William Eric Emmert on May 4.
Eric Emmert, who was a platoon leader with Murfreesboro’s 269th Military Police Company, was killed during combat in Mosul, Iraq, Feb. 24, 2009, while deployed with the unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Hundreds of soldiers, friends and family members who knew Eric came out to honor him. Tennessee state senators, Jim Tracy and Bill Ketron, sponsored the bill to rename the armory and were on hand to present 1st Lt. Emmert's parents, Bill and Betty Emmert of Lebanon, a framed copy of the proclamation.
Throughout the ceremony, friends and fellow soldiers spoke about the professionalism and compassion Emmert showed in both his military career and in his civilian law enforcement career.
“Eric believed in defending his country and helping those in need,” said Staff Sgt. William Broersma, who served with Emmert. “He was always the first to volunteer and take on any hardship. His first priority was to always take care of the soldiers he led.”
Emmert had been a member of the Murfreesboro unit since January 2006, when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned to the unit as a platoon leader.
During this time, he assisted the city of Gallatin, Tenn., following a tornado which tore through the area in 2006. He also helped secure the U.S.-Mexico border near Yuma, Arizona, during Operation Jump Start. He deployed to Iraq with the 269th in November 2008 and was tasked with leading Police Transition Teams in the Mosul area, a critical mission within Multi-National Forces – Iraq.
Prior to being assigned to the 269th, Emmert was a member of the Tennessee National Guard since 1996, when he enlisted in the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment following five years of active duty service with the U.S. Army where he did tours in Korea, Germany, and Cuba. In his civilian career, 1st Lt. Emmert was a special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The new name of the building is now named the First Lieutenant William Eric Emmert National Guard Armory.