3BCT memorial room serves as tribute to fallen comrades

| April 23, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Spc. Jazz Burney
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

Room commemorates the sacrifices of its Soldiers during deployment

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — With the difficult task of trying to provide lasting comfort for friends and families of Soldiers who have lost their lives in combat, who better to lead the way than someone who has experienced loss of his own?

(From left to right) Pfc. Johnathon Rife, an infantryman with Co. B, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, and Spc. Herbert Agal III, a military maintenance team member with the brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, hang the brigade’s recent deployment plaque inside its memorial room created to commemorate the Soldiers of the 25th ID who lost their lives in Iraq. The memorial room will be open to the public, May 20.Cpl. Donald Schrader, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company “Broncos,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, is just that person. 

As someone who has lost family and friends through multiple U.S. wars, Schrader has been instrumental in paving the way for the construction of a memorial room to honor comrades who have lost their lives during the brigade’s service in the overseas contingency operations.

For Schrader, a five-year combat engineer veteran, the chance to give back to his fellow Soldiers by constructing the room has served as one of the highlights of his career, he said.

“I lost a lot of friends on the last deployment that I went on, and I lost a few during this recent deployment. Some were killed downrange and some when they came back,” Schrader said.

“For me, being able to make sure that these Soldiers are immortalized for what they sacrificed is important to me,” he added.

What had been a regular office room in the brigade has now become the site for honoring fallen Bronco heroes. 

The idea for the room found its start with Col. Walt Piatt, commander, 3rd BCT, who expressed his desire to memorialize the brigade’s fallen Soldiers by creating a display that could be moved if the brigade headquarters relocated in the future. 

Sgt. 1st Class Jimmie Jackson, the brigade’s rear detachment operations noncommissioned officer, and Sgt. Patsy Morrisutu, a communication NCO, were the main contributors to the room’s conceptual interior design. 

Schrader and Spc. Herbert Agal III served as the hands that put everything together.

“It’s a lot easier for someone to give back when they themselves have lost so much,” said Schrader, while somberly describing his passion behind the project.

The Soldiers who are honored in the memorial room served in the brigade’s three deployments during overseas contingency operations. The Broncos served in Afghanistan from 2004-2005, and in Iraq from 2006-2007, and again from 2008-2009.

When the room is completed, Soldiers who lost their lives in the Korean and Vietnam wars will also be featured in the memorial room.

Inside the room, a computer kiosk, designed by Morrisutu, continuously displays photos and a brief bio of each of the fallen Soldiers. 

The kiosk is flanked by fallen Soldier tribute stands, with Army combat helmets resting atop M4 rifles, which are embedded into the base of the stands. The fallen Soldiers’ dog tags motionlessly hang from the rifles.

Additionally, the four walls of the room are painted in a deep red — a color that brigade members hope truly commemorates the sacrifices of its Soldiers.

“We wanted to create a room that would have a somber atmosphere where family, friends and Soldiers could go in and reflect on the sacrifices their battle buddies or family members made during the global war on terrorism,” said Jackson. 

“I see this room will exceed our expectations in providing comfort to those who enter (it),” added Schrader. “When they see all of the time and dedication that was put into this room, it will really pull at the heartstrings of the viewers.

“These Soldiers are not going to be just names on a wall. We are making sure (with this memorial room) that our Soldiers are never forgotten, and what they did wasn’t for nothing,” he said.

The memorial room will be dedicated and open for public viewing in F Quad, here, May 20.

Category: News

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