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    Soldiers, families, friends honor fallen comrades

    Soldiers, families, friends honor fallen comrades

    Photo By Sgt. Philip Klein | The second expansion of the 4th Infantry Division Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial...... read more read more

    FORT HOOD, TX, UNITED STATES

    05.21.2009

    Story by Sgt. Philip Klein 

    3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

    FORT HOOD, Texas — As the Memorial Day weekend approached, Soldiers remembered their fallen.

    The Soldiers along with family members, friends and comrades of those whose names now grace the division memorial's wall of honor, joined together to rededicate the monument during a ceremony on May 21 at Cameron Field.

    Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, the commanding general of the 4th Inf. Div., spoke to those gathered to honor the sacrifices made.

    "This morning we memorialize 113 heroes who lost their lives during our 15-month deployment in combat — 112 men and one woman," said Hammond. "This is the third and last memorial dedication for the 4th Inf. Div. at Fort Hood, and this hallowed memorial contains the names of 432 service members, ten percent of all those who lost their lives since the start of the war in Iraq."

    The 4th Inf. Div.'s Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial Monument became part of the division's legacy Sept. 2, 2004, following the division's return from Iraq earlier that year, to honor 84 fallen heroes.

    Upon the division's return from OIF 05-07, the memorial was expanded to make room for 235 additional fallen warrior plaques to honor 232 Soldiers and three Marines, the men and women who did not return home with their fellow comrades after serving under the Multi-National Division — Baghdad banner, which was spearheaded by the 4th Infantry Division.

    After the division's latest deployment, the memorial was expanded a second time honoring 113 fallen Soldiers with their names on plaques adorning four newly added pillars.

    "Many questions may exist about the sacrifices made by our 113 heroes," said Hammond. "I don't have all the answers, but I know a few things — they stood to be counted when their nation called. They loved their country, their Families and their fellow Soldiers. They were incredibly giving, to each other and to the people of Iraq. They wanted to make a difference — and did. They represent the best of what our nation has to offer.

    "Always remember this — some are content to simply enjoy the freedoms of this great country — others choose to protect that freedom — our 113 heroes whose name is etched on our wall are men and women of action, not just words. They entered the field of battle to make a difference rather than straddling the sidelines offering only opinions," said Hammond.

    All Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines are equally honored at the memorial as they are treated with the same respect and dignity as others in uniform that fell in our country's past conflicts.

    Peggy Habian, of Boyton Beach, Fla., whose son Staff Sgt. Robert Wilson, with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, paid the ultimate price for his country, his fellow Soldiers and the people of Iraq, was an honored guest at the ceremony.

    "It was a very powerful and very moving ceremony, and I was extremely moved in honored to be welcomed here to pay tribute to my son and the others that gave so much," said Habian. "It is very obvious to me that his comrades here honor the sacrifices made on behalf of our country and family."

    Habian was assisted in attending the memorial ceremony by the Red Cross and its Casualty Assistance Travel Program that provides grants for Family members to attend memorial services.

    The original cost of the 4th Inf. Div. memorial was $300,000. The OIF 05-07 addition cost $80,000 and the OIF 07-09 addition cost was $185,000. This includes memorial construction, plaques, lighting and landscaping.

    The 4th Inf. Div.'s Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial Monument was funded and built by the Central Texas community. There were 125 total donors and donations varied from $40,000 to $2. They ranged from Soldier donations to private citizen donations to gifts from small businesses and corporations.

    Although the 4th Inf. Div. headquarters is scheduled to move to Fort Carson, Colo., later this summer, the memorial will remain and will continue to honor the fallen comrades long after the division departs.

    "As we move forward today, let's remember these men and women served and died for us to live in freedom," said Hammond. "They wanted their children and our children to grow up and live in safety, not fear. So as we honor their memories today, let their legacy of hope live through all of us.

    "Let's follow the example they set for us. Let's earn what they have given us. Let's love more and love better," concluded Hammond.

    Let us not forget our comrades, our heroes:

    SPC Carlo E. Alfonso
    SGT William E. Allmon
    SGT Conrad Alvarez
    SSG Roberto Andrade Jr.
    SGT John D. Aragon
    SSG Brandon A. Augustus
    SPC Christopher A. Bartkiewicz
    SSG Justin L. Bauer
    CPL Durrell L. Bennett
    CPL Albert Bitton
    SSG Ronald C. Blystone
    SSG Bryan E. Bolander
    CPL Steven I. Candelo
    SSG Ernesto G. Cimarrusti
    SGT Michael K. Clark
    SGT David K. Cooper SSG Victor M. Cota
    SGT James E. Craig
    SSG Clay A. Craig
    SGT John K. Daggett
    SPC Armando A. Delapaz
    PFC George Delgado
    SGT Dayne D. Dhanoolal
    SGT James M. Dorsey
    SGT Lance O. Eakes
    SSG Michael D. Elledge
    CPL Jessica A. Ellis
    SFC Lawrence D. Ezell
    SGT Darrell L. Fernandez
    SPC Steven J. Fitzmorris
    SPC Christopher T. Fox
    SSG Joseph D. Gamboa
    SGT Kenneth B. Gibson
    SGT Terrell W. Gilmore
    CPL Tony J. Gonzales
    SPC Michael L. Gonzalez
    SSGT Travis L. Griffin (USAF)
    CPL James D. Gudridge
    PFC Andrew J. Habsieger
    SSG Christopher M. Hake
    CPL James M. Hale
    CW3 Robert C. Hammett Jr.
    SGT Gary M. Henry
    CPL Jose A. Rubio Hernandez
    PFC Corey L. Hicks
    PFC Coleman W. Hinkefent
    SFC David R. Hurst
    SSG Gary W. Jeffries
    SPC Geoffrey G. Johnson
    SSG David D. Julian
    CPL Jason C. Kazarick
    MAJ Dwayne M. Kelley
    SGT Michael T. Lilly
    CPL Michael T. Manibog
    PFC Adam L. Marion
    CPL Evan A. Marshall
    SGT Timothy P. Martin
    SGT Marcus C. Mathes
    SPC Micheal B. Matlock Jr.
    SSG Kenneth W. Mayne
    CPL David P. McCormick
    SGT Steve A. McCoy
    SPC Christopher A. McCraw
    CPL Robert T. McDavid III
    CPL Scott A. McIntosh
    CPL William L. McMillan III
    SSG Jeremiah E. McNeal
    SPC Jonathan D. Menke
    SPC Brandon A. Meyer
    PFC Patrick J. Miller
    CPL Justin R. Mixon
    CPL Joshua A. Molina
    SPC Jeffrey F. Nichols
    CPT Michael A. Norman
    CPL William D. O'Brien
    SPC Stephen M. Okray
    CPT Andrew R. Pearson
    SPC Orlando A. Perez
    SPC Micheal E. Phillips
    SSG Emanuel Pickett
    SPC Joshua L. Plocica
    SGT Austin D. Pratt
    SGT Thomas C. Ray II
    SGT Joseph A. Richard III
    MAJ Alan G. Rogers
    MR. Michael D. Romain
    MAJ Mark E. Rosenberg
    SPC Gregory B. Rundell
    SGT Jon M. Schoolcraft III
    SGT Christopher C. Simpson
    SSG Bradley J. Skelton
    SSG Christopher G. Smith
    SGT Timothy M. Smith
    SGT David S. Stelmat Jr.
    SGT Mark A. Stone
    SGT Matthew F. Conrad Straughter
    SFC Shawn M. Suech
    SSG Matthew J. Taylor
    PFC Bryan R. Thomas
    CPL Stephen S. Thompson
    PFC Benjamin B. Tollefson
    SGT Shaun P. Tousha
    SPC Ronald J. Tucker
    PFC Ricky L. Turner
    SGT Richard A. Vaughn
    SSG Timothy H. Walker
    SSG Jerald A. Whisenhunt
    SGT Gary D. Willett
    SGT David B. Williams
    SSG Robert J. Wilson
    CPT Darrick D. Wright
    PFC Joshua A. Richard Young
    SPC Stephen G. Zapasnik

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.21.2009
    Date Posted: 05.21.2009 19:33
    Story ID: 33925
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

    Web Views: 1,487
    Downloads: 983
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