USASOC remembers fallen heroes


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice Archive/2008/May/080528-01.html

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Sine Pari, May 28, 2008) – Rain mixed with tears from family and friends of fallen Special Operations Soldiers as the names of their lost loved ones were unveiled on the memorial wall. Through the sobs, only the pitter-patter of raindrops and the sound of a lone brass bell which rang in honor of their sacrifice could be heard.

More than 200 family members of 32 Special Operations Soldiers gathered here today from across the country to honor their loved ones and the ultimate sacrifice they made.

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command held its annual Soldier Memorialization Ceremony on Memorial Plaza in remembrance of the past year’s fallen Special Operations Forces Soldiers.

Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, USASOC commanding general, hosted the event.

“Today… we honor our nation’s greatest heroes, 32 Special Operations Soldiers who, during the past year, answered our nation’s call and gave their life preserving freedom and our way of life,” Wagner said.

The ceremony, which is held the week of Memorial Day each year, serves as a day of remembrance when the names of fallen SOF Warriors are added to the USASOC Memorial Wall of Honor. These Soldiers died performing some of the most dangerous and important missions in the U.S. military.

The USASOC Memorial Wall of Honor reflects much of the history of Army Special Operations.

“Their image, and your image, reflect what is absolutely the very best of America, courageous heroes who knowingly and selflessly serve our nation to preserve our way of life,” Wagner said. “We gather to honor [these] men and women of uncommon courage, valor and service, and the families and communities who reared, nurtured and instilled the values that matured youngsters into the character of American heroes.”

The names of more than 800 heroes rest on the wall, ranging from Vietnam to Somalia, to the current War on Terror.

The event was an emotional experience for families and friends who have already gone through so much in losing a loved one. Still, many proved to be strong.

Glenda Penton of Defuniak Springs, Fla., the mother of Sgt. Timothy Padgett, said dealing with the grief of losing her son proved difficult.

“Families deal with grief in different ways, and sometimes through the pain and hurt there are some negative things that come out,” Penton said. “I found my healing comes more from reaching out and continuing to give. That’s what helps my heart to heal.”

Padgett, who was a Special Forces medical sergeant with 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), was killed May 8, 2007 in Afghanistan when his patrol was ambushed by enemy fighters. He died of wounds sustained in the ensuing firefight.

Penton recalls being interviewed by local media after his son’s death, where she told the reporters she would only agree to the interview if they did not speak negatively about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I would not dare say anything negative about something my son believed so much in,” she said. “He brought so much honor to our family, and he died doing what he loved doing. He did it because he loved his country and his family, and he died to protect them. The least that we as a family can do is support that.”

As the last roll call of the fallen Soldiers was read, the memorial wall was unveiled, displaying Sgt. Timothy Padgett’s name along with the names of his 31 brothers-in-arms.

“This is not an easy moment,” Wagner said. “But it is forever a proud moment.”

Seeing the name of her son on the wall invoked memories for Penton, she said.

“People often don’t realize that when we have memories, there are emotions that are associated with those memories,” Penton said. “Again, our heart swells from the pride that our son brought to our family. The loss is just an emptiness that you have to learn to live with.”

As memories of loved ones swam through families’ thoughts, Wagner ensured them that their loss will never be forgotten.

“With all that is pure in America and the world, the absolute and lasting truth is that our fallen Soldiers are good men of the highest order,” he said. “Their service was selfless. They are our friends, our heroes, and they will remain in our hearts and memories forever.”


As the rain pours down, a family member of a fallen U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldier finds his name on the Memorial Wall outside the USASOC Headquarters building, Fort Bragg, N.C. The annual Memorialization Ceremony, where 29 new names were added to the wall, was held May 28. (U.S. Army photo by Gillian M. Albro, USASOC PAO)

A family member of a fallen U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldier finds his name among the 29 new names that were added the the USASOC Memorial Wall during the Memorialization Ceremony held at Fort Bragg, N.C. May 28. (U.S. Army photo by Gillian M. Albro, USASOC PAO)

A family member of a U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldier killed in action reacts to seeing his name on the Memorial Wall. The USASOC Memorial Ceremony was held during a down pour May 28. (U.S. Army photo by Gillian M. Albro, USASOC PAO)

Family members of fallen US Army Special Operations Command soldiers wait their turn to touch the Memorial Wall of Honor after the USASOC Memorialization Ceremony honoring the 29 Special Operations Soldiers that have died this past year supporting combat operations around the world. (US Army Photo by Geary McSpadden, USASOC PAO)

Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, commanding general, U.S. Army Special Operations Command and Command Sgt. Maj. Perry L. Baer, USASOC Command Sergeant Major, salute the ceremonial wreath in honor of the special operations fallen heroes during the memorial ceremony May 28, 2008. (U.S. Army photo by Adam Luther, USASOC Public Affairs)

Operations Command Memorial Wall, Staff Sgt. Yvette Basabe rings a single chime for each of the 32 names in the roll. Sergeant Basabe is assigned to the USASOC Command Group. (U.S. Army Photo by Walt Sokalski, USASOC PAO)

Doug Elwell, a civilian technical advisor with the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), plays "Amazing Grace" at the conclusion of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command's 2008 Memorialization Ceremony. (U.S. Army Photo by Walt Sokalski, USASOC PAO)
I was OK 'til the 3rd pic.

RIP to the fallen heroes. :(

Sometimes these memorials should be on the main page for those who don't venture down this far.... IMO...

Thank you Rav. :)