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Soldiers, families, friends honor fallen comrades Sgt. Philip Klein

The second expansion of the 4th Infantry Division Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial honors 113 fallen Soldiers with their names on plaques adorning four newly constructed pillars. The latest expansion cost $185,000 which was funded and built by the Central Texas community.

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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This work, Soldiers, families, friends honor fallen comrades, by SGT Philip Klein, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:05.21.2009

Date Posted:05.21.2009 19:33

Location:FORT HOOD, TX, USGlobe

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