News: Field of Honor: USAR sergeant major recognized for service
Story by David San Miguel
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -“It’s a sacrifice. At a minute’s notice, he does whatever is needed for the military and for the country,” said Denise Lambert, wife of U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Maj. James M. Lambert, one of ten individuals recognized here May 10 during the opening ceremony for the Field of Honor.
Denise spoke of her husband’s service after posting an American flag in his honor on the grounds of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum parade field. He is currently deployed to Afghanistan where he serves as the senior enlisted adviser with the 1st Theater Sustainment Command.
She said the life of the military spouse can be tough. Family members can expect frequent relocations and the uncertainty of deployments abroad.
“I’m not alone,” she said. “There are many more service men and women serving abroad. Some families have had to endure, not only a temporary separation, but who’ve also suffered the loss of their loved ones.
“Yes, it is a sacrifice and I think it is very important for people to understand that we still have people in harm’s way. It’s up to us to share those stories!” Denise said.
According to the program, the idea for a field of flags started in Utah in 2002 as a tribute to the fallen heroes of 9/11 and was later adopted by the city of Fayetteville in 2005 as a patriotic tribute to the strength and unity of all Americans – service members, veterans, first responders and hometown heroes.
The Downtown Alliance partnered with the Airborne and Special Operations Museum and made this ceremony what it is today, Mayor Nat Robertson said. More than 900 American flags now grace the “Field of Honor” as a living, patriotic tribute to the men and women from the community who’ve demonstrated their commitment and service to the nation.
“Our community is entrenched with those who have served the country and we appreciate them every day,” he said. “It shows our patriotism for those who’ve served the country, who have gone before and have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
April Smith, a local family law attorney, knows all too well the importance of the community support that Fayetteville offers the military.
“Growing up in a military town, we rally around our troops. We support them,” she said. “There is no other place like Fayetteville because we have a true appreciation of what the military does for our country as well as how it affects our community.”
Brig. Gen. Kurt L. Sonntag, U.S. Army Special Operations Command deputy commanding general, said the flags are a symbolic representation of service and sacrifice.
“These hundreds of flags represent honor, duty and respect. It is a patriotic tribute to the strength and unity of Americans and of the community that comes together to honor them,” he said. “Each flag displayed tells a unique story. Listen to the story each flag tells. This field offers hope, comfort and healing.”