Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Honoring the Fallen

It has been a tough week for the Washington state military community.

Six soldiers from Fort Lewis were killed on Sunday, from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division:

Staff Sgt. Vincenzo Romeo, 23, of Lodi, N.J.

Sgt. Jason R. Harkins, 25, of Clarkesville, Ga.

Sgt. Joel W. Lewis, 28, of Sandia Park, N.M.

Cpl. Matthew L. Alexander, 21, of Gretna, Neb.

Cpl. Anthony M. Bradshaw, 21, of San Antonio, Texas.

Cpl. Michael A. Pursel, 19, of Clinton, Utah.

On May 3rd, two soldiers from Company B, 321st Engineer Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserve, Hayden Lake, Idaho were killed.

Staff Sgt. Coby G. Schwab, 25, of Puyallup, Wash.

Spc. Kelly B. Grothe, 21, of Spokane, Wash.

Coby's unit was one of those adopted for the Operation Support Our Troops Santa's Soldiers event that I took part in last November. His wife PFC Mallory A. Schwab serves in the 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 3-2 SBCT, also out of Fort Lewis.

Operation Support Our Troops is planning a tribute at the Freedom Bridge for this weekend:

When: Saturday, May 12, 2007
Where: Exit 122 off I-5 Madigan
(Freedom Bridge)
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

To show our Love and Respect for our Fallen Heroes and their families, we will be paying tribute at noon with the playing of Taps, a moment of silence and prayers at the small white cross memorial at the entrance to Madigan Hospital.

Six soldiers from Fort Lewis were killed in Iraq on Sunday and the entire military community is grieving the loss of these Heroes. Let's show them the civilian community grieves with them.

This is an especially painful time for us, because SSG Coby Schwab was also killed in Iraq this week. Coby was assigned to the 321st Engineers from Hayden Lake, Idaho. OSOT adopted Coby's unit this past Christmas and his wife, PFC Mallory Schwab's unit for Easter. Coby was the son-in-law of Stacey Fenton, one of OSOT's Core Team members. May Coby rest in peace and know that his service will always be deeply honored by us.

To borrow from Echo9er ...

May God hold them in his hands and may their families carry them forever in their hearts.