TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. (1/4/2012) — South Carolina Army National Guard's, 133rd Military Police (MP) Company from Timmonsville, S.C., held a memorial dedication ceremony Jan. 4, outside their armory to honor the three soldiers, 1st Lt. Ryan Rawl of Lexington, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Thomas of Easley and Sgt. John Meador II of Columbia, who lost their lives June 20, 2012, during their deployment to Khost province, Afghanistan, when they were attacked by a suicide bomber during a routine patrol of the city.
South Carolina Army National Guard, 133rd Military Police Company from Timmonsville, S.C., honor the three soldiers who lost their lives June 20, 2012, during their deployment to Khost province, Afghanistan, at a memorial dedication ceremony Jan. 4, 2013 outside their armory. National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tracci Dorgan
National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tracci Dorgan
“They forever gave up their freedom. This memorial is a way to honor their service. I served with them and I want to honor them the rest of my life, I don't want the wound to close because I want them to forever be with me,” said Capt. David Bryant, commander of the 133rd MPs.
First Sgt. Michael Montrose, first sergeant for the 133rd MPs said, “These soldiers will always be part of our unit and our history. The commander and I wanted to do something to remember these three, so no one would ever forget their sacrifice."
Christie Meador, wife of Sgt. Meador, said, “It's been a rough road to be on, but when I was told about the memorial, I thought it was a great way to remember our soldiers. I looked forward to today to celebrate them and find another way to keep their memory alive. Everyday is a battle, but I will bring our daughter here to see the memorial and I look forward to telling her about her father.”
“I am so proud of my son. He volunteered to do something not many do. We will miss him, but we are not to question God's plan,” said John Meador, father of Sgt. Meador.
Spc. Jared Bland, a gunner for the 133rd MPs, was one of the five soldiers wounded during the attack. He said, “At the moment of the attack, I was worried about the others before I realized how hurt I was. But it hurt more when not everyone came home.”
Bland said he was injured with ball bearings going through his right thigh; he has gone through physical therapy and is doing well. He is still going through the healing process. “I will be staying in the military, it means a lot to me.”
At the ceremony, the company stood in formation in front of the memorial. The company was formed into their platoons, and the platoon leaders stood behind their platoons. Except for the platoon that Rawl lead. His spot stood empty. 1st Lt. Kevin Grimsley, 2nd platoon leader for the 133rd MPs said, “Ryan was one of my best friends. It felt weird looking to my right and him not being there. It brought back all my emotions.”
“This memorial means a lot to all of us. We will all miss our family members,” said Bland. “It's an elite group of individuals who serve, today is a dedication to those who gave it all.
By Army Staff Sgt. Tracci Dorgan
Provided through DVIDS
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