News: Warhorse headquarters dedicated to fallen troops
Story by Spc. Sharla Lewis
FORT HOOD, Texas – Soldiers and supporters of 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division memorialized fallen heroes, Aug. 11, at a building dedication on Fort Hood.
Leaders and troopers dedicated the battalion’s headquarters building and Headquarters and Headquarters Company conference room to former comrades killed in Mosul, Iraq, Feb. 9, 2009, just three weeks into the deployment.
The Derby Building and Guardian Conference Room Dedication Ceremony honored Lt. Col. Gary Derby, Sgt. Joshua Ward, Pfc. Albert Jex, Pfc. Jonathan Roberge and translator Jevon Othman.
Attendees included family members and friends of the fallen warriors, the unit’s commander, command sergeant major and the keynote speaker, former brigade commander, Col. Gary Volesky.
Volesky extended a welcome to special guests Patricia Ward, mother of Sgt. Joshua Ward and Cathy MacFarlane, mother of Pfc. Albert Jex and her family.
“Lt. Col. Gary Derby, Sgt. Joshua Ward, Pfc. Albert Jex, Pfc. Jonathan Roberge and Jevan Ali Othman were men who served in combat and were veterans of multiple deployments or supported multiple units during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They are loved by their teammates and missed every day,” Volesky said.
Volesky described the personalities of each of the men and emphasized the relationships they upheld with other members of their unit.
“They illustrate the commitment, loyalty and determination they had to their unit, the mission and each other. Like those before them, they paved the way for a brighter future for the Iraqis and ensured we were safer at home.”
He said the dedication represented and memorialized all of the Warhorse soldiers that had made the ultimate sacrifice during the last five years of combat in Iraq.
Following Volesky’s speech, family members and special guests gathered inside the front door of the building for the unveiling of a plaque dedicating the headquarters building to former battalion commander Lt. Col. Gary Derby.
Lt. Col. Tim Brumfiel, commander, 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., and acting Command Sgt. Maj. Ritchey Green revealed a bronze plaque with Derby’s picture centered between the battalion’s crest and a Department of the Army seal. His biography was printed beneath his photo.
Next, the group walked across the street to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company conference room where family or friend unveiled plaques honoring the remaining heroes.
Family members agreed the ceremony was a pleasant recognition for their fallen hero’s sacrifice.
“It’s nice to know that he’s not forgotten,” said Cathy MacFarlane.