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Patriotic Article
Military

By Army 1st Lt. Angela Fry

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Tiger Brigade Soldiers Run to Honor Fallen Comrade
(June 9, 2010)

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Louisiana National Guard Soldiers with the 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Shreveport, La., pose after the 36th Sustainment Brigade’s Texas Memorial 10k on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, on May 30, 2010. Louisiana's Cavalry Squadron is currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Louisiana National Guard Soldiers with the 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Shreveport, La., pose after the 36th Sustainment Brigade's Texas Memorial 10k on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, on May 30, 2010. Louisiana's Cavalry Squadron is currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
 COB Adder, Iraq (June 5, 2010) – The day before Memorial Day, Louisiana National Guardsmen with the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom at Contingency Operating Base Adder, ran with heavy hearts in honor of a fallen comrade.

Thirty Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Shreveport, La.; the 1-141st Field Artillery Battalion from New Orleans, La.; and the Virginia National Guard's 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, based in Lynchburg, Va., ran in the 36th Sustainment Brigade's Texas Memorial 10K run on May 30, to honor the memory of one of their own, Maj. Ronald Wayne Culver.

For 1st Sgt. Trinity Edwards of Shreveport, La., participating in the 6.2-mile event gave him the opportunity to keep the memory of his close friend alive.

"This Memorial Day is especially personal this time after recently losing a great friend," the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop first sergeant said regarding the years of service he shared with Culver. "Nah, Culver and I had planned to run the 10K after spending the last two months running and working out together."
Despite the events since Culver was killed on May 24, in the line of duty after his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in southern Iraq, Edwards explained the importance of completing the race.

"At first I did not really want to run because of the lack of sleep and the fact that I had not ran since his passing," stated Edwards. "He would have convinced me to do it if he was here...and in a way he still was. I ran this 10k for him, because I truly believe he would have run it for us."

Although honoring the memories of the military Veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for freedom was in everyone's heart, the chance to relax was an added benefit for many Soldiers who participated in the race.

Maj. Ronald Wayne Culver's name is reflected on the Memorial Wall on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, to honor him for his sacrifice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The executive officer of 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Shreveport, La., was killed on May 24, 2010 when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device. Thirty Soldiers from the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team participated in the 36th Sustainment Brigade's Texas Memorial 10K to honor his memory.
Maj. Ronald Wayne Culver's name is reflected on the Memorial Wall on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, to honor him for his sacrifice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The executive officer of 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Shreveport, La., was killed on May 24, 2010 when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device.
 "We've been in country just long enough to see some strain on our guys," said A Company, 1-116th Operations Officer 1st Lt. Patrick Wilson of Arlington, Va. "Most of us have yet to get a day off. The idea of the Texas 10K race just gave us something positive to focus on and mark the Memorial Day weekend. No beach, beer or bratwurst, but we did at least shake the schedule up a bit."

Wilson also took a moment to express his gratitude to the 13 Virginia Soldiers who participated.

"I was very proud of the 1-116th for having so many guys come out for the race", Wilson continued. "Spc Solomon Zemene of Alexandria, Va., made us all look good by finishing at the top of the field."

Zemene, a crew member on a convoy escort team, finished second in the 24-29-year-old-category and a respectable third place overall. Capt. Mike Ruffin of New Orleans, plans officer for the 2-108th, finished third in the 36-39-year-old category and 1st Sgt. Patrick Sellen, also of New Orleans, with A Battery, 1-141st finished in first place in the 40-44 category.

The Soldiers with Louisiana's Tiger Brigade are deployed to assist in setting the conditions for the responsible drawdown of U.S. Troops and equipment in Iraq. The brigade is scheduled to return home some time at the end of this year.
Article and photos by Army 1st Lt. Angela Fry
256 Brigade Combat Team LA Army National Guard
Copyright 2010

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