FORT CARSON, Colo. (8/28/2012) – Soldiers, families, friends and
community members gathered to honor the memory of Sgt. Maj. Kevin J.
Griffin, senior enlisted leader, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th
Infantry Division; Maj. Thomas Kennedy, fire support officer, 4th
BCT, 4th Inf. Div.; and Air Force Maj. Walter “D.G.” Gray, air
liaison officer, 13th Air Support Operations Squadron, during a
memorial service held in their honor at Founder's Field, Aug. 23.
The Fallen Soldier Battle Cross is used to show honor and
respect for the fallen. Started during the American Civil War as a
means of identifying the bodies on the battleground before they were
removed, today, it is a means of showing respect for the fallen
among the still living members of the troop and as a private
ceremony among those still living as a means to mourn. A memorial
placed at Founder's Field honored Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, senior
enlisted leader, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division;
Maj. Thomas Kennedy, fire support officer, 4th BCT, 4th Inf. Div.;
and Air Force Maj. Walter “D.G.” Gray, air liaison officer, 13th Air
Support Operations Squadron, during a memorial ceremony held Aug.
23, 2012. Photo by Army Spc. Nathan Thome
Griffin, Kennedy and Gray were killed on their way to a provincial
council's office in Sarkowi, Kunar Province, Afghanistan, Aug. 8,
when two suicide bombers detonated their bombs.
assigned to the 4th BCT, 4th Inf. Div., held a memorial service in
Afghanistan, Aug. 10, to honor the three soldiers who lost their
lives in the incident.
Friends and colleagues of the fallen
warriors spoke of their experiences at the ceremony. They told
stories of time spent with their fallen comrade, laughed about
inside jokes, and reminisced about time spent together.
speeches, a Pikes Peak Highlander bagpiper honored the fallen
warriors with a rendition of “Amazing Grace,” which he played as he
marched to the soldier's memorial.
Griffin, a native of
Riverton, Wyo., joined the Army in 1988, and was first assigned to
2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in Fort
Riley, Kan., as an armor crewman.
Griffin is survived by his
wife, Pamela, and their two children, Dane and Kylie.
short notice...that I would have a new sergeant major upon arrival,
Griffin from Fort Lewis,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jody Heikkinen,
senior enlisted leader, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th
BCT., 4th Inf. Div. “I called a fellow sergeant
major and asked if they knew this Griffin guy, and he said, ‘You're
getting Griffin? You're going to love him Jody, he'll take care of
you guys,' and truer words have never been spoken.”
Kennedy, a native of West Point, N.Y., commissioned in
the Army in 2000, and was first assigned to the Republic of
Korea and served on “Freedom's Frontier,” as a fire support
Kennedy is survived by his wife, Kami, and
their two children, Brody and Margaret.
"I met then
cadet candidate Thomas Kennedy in the summer of 1996 while
serving as his cadet first sergeant at the U.S. Military
Academy, and from the moment I connected with this
hard-charging, motivated, positive, inspiring guy, I knew I
had met someone very special,” said Maj. Timothy Knoth, 2nd
Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team,
4th Inf. Div. “Tommy brings out the best in everyone, and
for that summer immersion together, I will remain forever
Gray, a native of Conyers, Ga., enlisted
in the Air Force in 1994, and served three years as an
enlisted tactical air controller prior to joining the Air
Force Reserve Officers Training Corps program. He graduated
in 2001 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant and
assigned to 47th Operations Support Squadron at Laughlin Air
Force Base, Texas, as the airfield flight operations
Gray is survived by his wife, Heather, and
their three children, Nyah, Garrett and Ava.
a positive force in the Brigade, D.G.'s smile and engaging
demeanor regularly brightened a room during staff meetings,
in the chow hall, or huddled around a map, planning
operations,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Palarino, commander,
Rear Detachment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div.
As a final tribute paid by soldiers to their fallen
comrades, Ivy Division conducted the Last Roll Call. It has
its origin in the accountability roll call conducted by the
unit First Sergeant following combat, and is called with the
conviction held by soldiers that all unit members will be
accounted for, and none will ever be forgotten.
Final Roll Call, the Firing Volley echoed through the field,
honoring the memories of each soldier. Families, soldiers,
and friends walked up to the memorial to render final honors
and pay their respects to their loved ones.
By Army Spc. Nathan Thome
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