Honoring the fallen – Postmarks: from army posts around the World – Brief Article

Jonathan M. Stack

Fort Stewart, Ga.

“FOREVER more these soldiers will be remembered and most of all they will always be here, marching in every formation on the field of honor. They will be in attendance at our most important events. They will not be forgotten,” said COL Gerald J. Poltorak during a ceremony honoring the 34 soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Thirty-four trees were planted to honor the soldiers. A granite marker in front of each tree carries the soldier’s rank, name and the words “Iraqi Freedom.” The area where the trees were planted will be known as Warriors Walk.

The division’s soldiers were prepared when called to deploy to Kuwait, Poltorak said. Later the division struck deep into the heart of Iraq, straight to Baghdad, fighting its way in tough conditions, through the Iraqi army, Republican Guard, Fedayeen fighters and anyone else who stood in its way.

During the ceremony CSM Carl T. Smith, installation command sergeant major, read the names of the 34 soldiers. After each name a soldier guarding the marker removed a veil made of desert camouflage material with the soldier’s rank and 3rd Inf. Div. patch sewn on it.

“Those killed and injured were from units throughout the division,” Poltorak said.

“They were young troopers and old soldiers, private to captain to chief warrant officer 4. Single soldiers and married soldiers, some with large families and some with small, died and were wounded for their country and its values,” he said. “They fought for their units and most of all for the soldiers standing next to them.”

— SPC Jonathan M. Stack, 3rd Inf. Div. PAO

COPYRIGHT 2003 Soldiers Magazine

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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