FORT BRAGG, N.C. (12/20/2011) - Christmas can be a joyous
time of year for us as we exchange gifts and share past memories
with family. Phone and video chat conversations with distant
relatives or deployed service members add to those memories as we
laugh and cry together.
As you look forward to Christmas this year, I ask you to add one
thing to your “to-do” list. It's simple and it only takes a moment.
Each year, we do this one thing briefly on Veteran's Day, but it's
something that we can do year-‘round – remember our fallen comrades.
Col. Chris Sharpsten, Command Sgt. Maj.
Edward Bell, Spc. Nataliya Ardin and Spc. Shannon Gaddis cut the
ribbon leading into the Hall of Heroes Nov. 7, 2011 at the 82nd
Sustainment Bde.'s Center of Excellence building. Photo by Army Spc.
This year, the 82nd Sustainment Brigade remembers seven
Spc. Joshua R. Campbell, 546th Transportation
Spc. Shawn A. Muhr, 546th Transportation Company
Orlando C. Salazar, Headquarters Company, 82nd Special Troops
Sgt. Breon J. Smith, 659th Maintenance Company
Sgt. Carson Morris, Headquarters Detachment, 7th Transportation Bn.
Sgt. Devin J. Daniels, 546th Transportation Company
Sgt. Colby L.
Richmond, 546th Transportation Company
We remember their sacrifice and the tears cried from each of
their families. We remember the memorial service as the songs “Taps”
and “Amazing Grace” play out in our minds.
as that sounds, it's a reality that Provider soldiers and families
share. The constant phrase “one is too many” looms over every family
member who endures the loss.
We honor our fallen comrades by
remembering them in our thoughts, prayers and ceremonies.
Col. Chris Sharpsten, 82nd Sustainment Bde. commander and Command
Sgt. Maj. Edward Bell recognized all of the unit's fallen soldiers
by opening a “Hall of Heroes” Nov. 7 at the “Center of Excellence”
building. The memorial displays plaques of all of the deceased
soldiers within the Bde.'s history mounted on two painted murals.
A ceremony that took place this year recognized one of our
fallen comrades as the “United Service Organization Soldier of the
On Oct. 7, David Muhr, Coon Rapids, Iowa native and
father of Spc. Shawn Muhr, received a commemorative plaque from USO
representatives honoring his son's sacrifice, while attending a
formal dinner to honor six service members from all branches of the
military. “It was real fantastic that he was recognized like that,”
the Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient said.
Shawn was killed Jan. 29, while driving a heavy equipment transport
vehicle during a supply mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan. An
improvised explosive device detonated on his HET.
Shawn's second deployment to a combat zone. He was assigned to
another unit and had volunteered to join the 546th Transportation
Company for a HET mission.
“He was a hero, a great son and
common-sense smart,” said Shawn's father. “I've always been proud of
him,” he said.
“People gravitated toward him naturally, just
because he was a good person to be around,” said Spc. Jarred Woods,
Shawn's team mate and Osage City, Kan., native.
“He was a
larger-than-life kinda guy,” said Capt. Michael Harrell, 546th
Transportation Company commander, and New Bern, N.C., native. “He
was very big in stature, very big in voice and very big in
personality,” said Harrell.
Unfortunately, Shawn had not
spent much time at home during the Christmas holiday since he
enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2005, according to his father. His team
mates had mentioned that even while deployed, missions carried on
during the holidays.
The families of all seven fallen
soldiers will continue to cope with their loss as we head into this
year's holiday season.
So, this Christmas, when you're
sitting at the dinner table with family and friends, or unwrapping
gifts, keep the soldiers mentioned in this article in your thoughts.
They are 82nd Sustainment Bde.'s fallen soldiers and we remember
their sacrifices for the defense of our nation.
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Vin Stevens
82nd Sustainment Brigade
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