Dog tags from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Task Force Bronco's fallen heroes hang from a pair of combat boots as part of a sunrise memorial held to honor those lost over the last year's deployment on Forward Operating Base Fenty, Jan. 28, 2012. Photo courtesy of Task Force Bronco, Public Affairs
| ||NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (2/7/2012) – Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Task Force Bronco, gathered to honor their fallen heroes during a special memorial ceremony and remembrance run at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Jan. 28. |
The memorial ceremony began at sunrise and was attended by nearly 300 Soldiers, airmen, Marines and civilians, who came to pay homage to the ‘fallen' of the Bronco Brigade.
“This morning was such a humbling experience,” said U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Spano, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, TF Bronco command sergeant major and Northboro, Mass., native. “I never imagined how many people would come out to support [the cause.] As [the commander] and I positioned ourselves at the Memorial Flag pole at Fenty, the sun began to rise over the eastern mountains of Nangarhar province. It was the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. Then I noticed the nearly 300 [servicemen and servicewomen] who had come to support our cause. My heart felt so warm on that chilly morning, humbled really, that so many wanted to show their support for our endeavor.”
Many soldiers purchased a special Remembrance Run t-shirt to wear during the event. Proceeds from the purchase went toward a TF Bronco memorial monument, which will be built on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, in honor of those Bronco troops who made the ultimate sacrifice. Many other donations have been made to the TF Bronco Memorial Association to attain this goal. Thus far, $12,000 has been raised. This amount was officially presented to the TF Bronco command team, Col. Richard Kim, TF Bronco commander, and Spano by soldiers of the brigade during the ceremony.
The memorial also featured a moment of silence, taps, a 21-gun salute, and a song, written and performed on guitar, by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Tommy Byrge, Memphis native, who is with 325th Brigade Support
|Battalion, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, TF Bronco. The ceremony culminated with a three-and-a-half mile run.|
Available before and after the ceremony and run were special soldier's identification tags, all of which were printed with the name and unit of TF Bronco's fallen. During the ceremony and run, soldiers were encouraged to hold the tag and silently remember the soldier represented on the tag.
“During the playing of taps and "Amazing Grace," please hold the ID tag that has been provided with the name of one of our Fallen in your hand,” said U.S. Army Master Sgt. James Meyers, native of Toledo, Ohio, and retention non-commissioned officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, TF Bronco.
“Trace the raised characters on the face of the tag with your finger and reflect on whom that soldier was, what they felt and hoped to become, their families who were left behind, and most of all, what they sacrificed.”
“I randomly selected the tag of Staff Sgt. Kristofferson Lorenzo with the Wolfhounds,” said Spano. “During the ceremony, as each name of the fallen from this deployment was read, I held the tag in my hand and ran my thumb over the raised portion that spelled out his name. I felt a closeness with Staff Sgt. Lorenzo at that moment. I felt a closeness to all of our soldiers that have fallen during this war, and I know, in my heart, I will never forget any of them.”
More photos available in frame below
By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson, RC-East PAO
Combined Joint Task Force 1 - Afghanistan
Provided through DVIDS
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