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    Gone, but Never Forgotten, at NMRTC Bremerton

    Gone, but Never Forgotten, at NMRTC Bremerton

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | Remembering the fallen… Chief Hospital Corpsman Elizabeth Barraza of Navy Medicine...... read more read more

    When Naval Hospital Bremerton unveiled their Hospital Corps Heroes Wall of Honor in 2015, it was a heartfelt and hallowed gesture to remember Navy hospital corpsmen lost after 9/11.

    Another name was solemnly added to the engraved names on the memorial site.

    Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton held a dedication ceremony in honor of Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Maxton Soviak, killed during a suicide bombing August 26, 2021, at the Abbey Gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan.

    “At his last duty station, Soviak was assigned to 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He deployed to Afghanistan. He was killed during his mission to help civilians evacuate. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Fleet Marine Force corpsman warfare badge,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Elizabeth Barraza, command Chief Petty Officer Association coordinator of the event.

    Soviak was among 13 U.S. service members killed that day with another 18 injured in the blast.

    The ceremony included a flag presentation by NMRTC Bremerton Color Guard detail – Hospital Corpsman 1sr Class Curtis Lee Boney and HM3 Joshua C. Herbert - to honor the memory of the fallen corpsman, a wreath laying by the command’s Hospital Corps Ball committee – HM1 Paul Delacruz and HM1 Matthew Hanley – along with sentiments shared from NMRTC Bremerton leadership.

    “We didn’t know him, but he was one of ours. He was just 22 years old, from the small town of about 600 [residents], Berlin Heights, Ohio. We felt strongly that we needed to keep his memory and legacy alive. We share and grieve at his loss,” remarked Capt. Patrick Fitzpatrick, NMRTC Bremerton commanding officer, noting that there are 57 names engraved on Hospital Corps Heroes Wall of Honor, with all sharing two distinctive traits.

    One is that they are all United States Navy Hospital Corpsmen.

    The other is that they have all been lost while serving their country during time of war.

    “From the battlefields of Iraq to the firefights in Afghanistan, while supporting Operating Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, these 57 names show those who sacrificed their lives so others may live. Gone, but never forgotten,” Fitzpatrick said.

    “The names posted on this wall were Sailors we grew up with, were stationed with and were deployed with. We may not have had the opportunity to personally know HM3 Soviak, but we know that he had the same impact that these other corpsmen had who came before him,” added Barraza.

    The Hospital Corps Heroes Wall of Honor was a project initiated in 2013 by two former command staff members, HM1 Derrick Ward and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Mike Nakamura. Barraza did the necessary legwork to track them down and explain there was the unfortunate need to add another name of the fallen to the memorial.

    “We talked for a good amount of time. Their passion for the project was still present. They wanted to ensure that the integrity and intention of the memorial remained the same, to honor fallen corpsmen. This memorial wall means a lot, not just to hospital corpsmen stationed here, but all staff,” explained Barraza.

    Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Randall Zenonian, acting command master chief, took a moment to extend sympathies and reflect to those gathered on the somber nature of the ceremony.

    “Our Hospital Corps Heroes' Wall of Honor is a reminder that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and especially those who did not return home,” Zenonian said. “I encourage everyone to visit all of our remembrance memorials, all located on the main hospital third floor. We also honor those hospital corpsmen who have received the Medal of Honor, The Navy Cross, as well as those whose status is listed as Prisoner of War or Missing in Action. Gone, but never forgotten.”

    The ceremony concluded with a moment of silence to honor Soviak and the other 12 lost on that fateful day.

    Gone but never forgotten.



    Date Taken: 01.27.2022
    Date Posted: 01.27.2022 16:10
    Story ID: 413566

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