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Patriotic Article
Military

By Army 1st Lt. Ray Ragan

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Family, Friends, Soldiers Memorialize Their Fallen
(June 1, 2011)

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. (May 30, 2011) – Fallen soldiers of two California-based U.S. Army Reserve units were memorialized at a dedication ceremony earlier this morning, at the Armed Forces Reserve Center, located near Moffett Federal Air Field.

Among the over 130 attendees were family, friends and fellow soldiers of the 17 fallen soldiers of the 351st Civil Affairs Command, 7th Psychological Operations Group and their subordinate units. The 351st CACOM and 7th POG serve as higher headquarters of many subordinate units distributed across the western United States.

Hosting the event were the 351st CACOM Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Gary A. Medvigy and the 7th POG Commander, Col. Wayne A. Tasler. The event invited the families of the fallen soldiers, soldiers of the affected units and friends of the fallen soldiers to attend the memorialization and dedication of a Wall of Honor.

“It [Memorial Day] is not just a long weekend to those in attendance today. We understand that the joys of liberty are purchased by the sacrifices of those who serve as cause greater than themselves,” said Medvigy.

The memorialization ceremony is a solemn ceremony, where the names of fallen soldiers, who died as the result of combat are read, along with the unit of assignment and the date they died. After reading the names of the fallen soldiers, Medvigy and Tasler dedicated a Wall of Honor to the fallen soldiers, where a bronze plaque for each memorialized soldier was mounted.

“Let's remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and those who continue to fight for our freedoms around the world,” said Tasler.

The names of the 17 fallen soldiers are:

Spc. Adam G. Kinser, a 21-year-old, of Rio Vista, Calif., died on Jan. 29, 2004.

Kinser died west of Ghazni, Afghanistan, when a weapons cache prematurely exploded. He was assigned to the 304th Psychological Operations Company, based in Sacramento, Calif.

Spc. Joseph A. Jeffries, a 21-year-old, of Beaverton, Ore., died on May 29, 2004.

Jeffries died in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when his vehicle hit a land mine. He was assigned to the 320th Psychological Operations Co., Camp Withycombe, Ore.

Maj. Charles R. Soltes, Jr., a 36-year-old, of Irvine, Calif., died on Oct. 13, 2004.

Soltes died in Mosul, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 426th Civil Affairs Bn., Upland, Calif.

Maj. Gregory J. Fester, a 41-year-old, of Grand Rapids, Mich., died on Aug. 30, 2005.

Fester died in Iskandariyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted patrol. He was assigned to the 490th Civil Affairs Bn., Grand Prairie, Texas.

Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence E. Morrison, a 45-year-old, of Yakima, Wash., died on Sept. 19, 2005.

Morrison died in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained earlier that day in Taji, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 490th Civil Affairs Bn., Grand Prairie, Texas.

Sgt. Regina C. Reali, a 25-year-old, of Fresno, Calif., died on Dec. 23, 2005.

Reali died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near her Humvee. She was assigned to the 448th Civil Affairs Bn., Fort Lewis, Wash.

Sgt. Cheyenne C. Willey, a 36-year-old, of Fremont, Calif., died on Dec. 23, 2005.

Willey died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee. He was assigned to the 448th Civil Affairs Bn., Fort Lewis, Wash.

1st Sgt. Tobias C. Meister, a 30-year-old, of Jenks, Okla., died on Dec. 28, 2005.

Meister died south of Asadabad, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat patrol operations. He was assigned to the 321st Civil Affairs Bde., San Antonio, Texas.

Staff Sgt. Clinton T. Newman, a 26-year-old, of San Antonio, Texas, died on Feb. 13, 2006.

Newman died north of Deh Rawod, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations. He was assigned to the 492nd Civil Affairs Bn., Phoenix, Ariz.

1st Sgt. Carlos N. Saenz, a 46-year-old, of Las Vegas, Nev., died on May 5, 2006.

Saenz died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations. He was assigned to the 490th Civil Affairs Bn., Abilene, Texas.

Spc. Teodoro Torres, a 29-year-old, of Las Vegas, Nev., died on May 5, 2006.

Torres died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations. He was assigned to the 490th Civil Affairs Bn., Abilene, Texas.

Sgt. 1st Class Merideth L. Howard, a 52-year-old, of Alameda, Calif., died on Sept. 8, 2006.

Howard died in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near her Humvee. She was assigned to the 364th Civil Affairs Bde., Portland, Ore.

Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul, a 43-year-old, of Dalles, Ore., died on Sept. 8, 2006.

Paul died in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee. He was assigned to the 364th Civil Affairs Bde., Portland, Ore.

Sgt. Charles B. Kitowski III, a 31-year-old, of Farmers Branch, Texas, died on Aug. 12, 2007.

Kitowski died in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 345th Psychological Operations Company (Airborne), Dallas, Texas.

Maj. Scott A. Hagerty, a 41-year-old, of Stillwater, Okla., died on June 3, 2008.

Hagerty died in Zormat, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 451st Civil Affairs Bn., Pasadena, Texas.

Sgt. Federico G. Borjas, a 33-year-old, of San Diego, Calif., died on Oct. 16, 2008.

Borjas died in Bermal District Center, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from small arms fire during a dismounted patrol. He was assigned to the 416th Civil Affairs Battalion, San Diego, Calif.

1st Sgt. Blue C. Rowe, a 33-year-old, of Summers, Ark., died on May 26, 2009.

Rowe died in Panjshir province, Afghanistan, when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 426th Civil Affairs Bn., Upland, Calif.

Article and photo by Army 1st Lt. Ray Ragan
1st Civil Affairs Command
Copyright 2011

Provided through DVIDS

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