‘Warrior Brigade’ honors veterans, adds its mark

| December 9, 2010 | 0 Comments
Command Sgt. Maj. William Hain (left), senior enlisted leader for 2nd BCT, 25th ID, and Col. Malcolm Frost, commander, 2nd BCT, render honors to the memory of fallen Soldiers at the base of the Memorial Garden at COS Warhorse, Iraq, during a Veterans Day ceremony, Nov. 11.

Command Sgt. Maj. William Hain (left), senior enlisted leader for 2nd BCT, 25th ID, and Col. Malcolm Frost, commander, 2nd BCT, render honors to the memory of fallen Soldiers at the base of the Memorial Garden at COS Warhorse, Iraq, during a Veterans Day ceremony, Nov. 11.

Story and Photo by
Spc. Robert England
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division 

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARHORSE, Iraq — A sea of gray and tan digital camouflage spread across a patch of gravel, as still as the mid-morning air. Concrete tiles cut a path through the center of the mass, ending in a row of bright white placards, and crests of U.S. Army units adorned the top of the placards, with long lists of names of fallen Soldiers meticulously painted beneath them.

Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, deployed to U.S. Division-North in support of Operation New Dawn, celebrated Veterans Day and attended the unveiling of the “Warrior Brigade” and 25th ID crests, here, Nov. 11.

“We pause this morning to honor veterans of all wars, as we unveil the 2nd (BCT) crest,” said Capt. Stephen Dunsford, chief of operations, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT, while addressing the Soldiers. “We demonstrate our respect and solidarity with our fellow veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“As the Warrior Brigade crest takes its place on the Wall of Honor, we affirm to finish the U.S. Operation Iraqi Freedom mission with honor, and win …  by facilitating the transition of Iraq as an emerging U.S. strategic partner through our service in (OND),” he said.

The crest was painted on the Wall of Honor among other units’ crests that previously served here during deployments.

Staff Sgt. Gordon Freeman, assistant operations sergeant, 2nd BCT, drew the outline for the 2nd BCT and 25th ID crests on the concrete-barrier wall with chalk, before the painter, a local Iraqi citizen, added color to the design. Freemen said the crests were painted about two weeks prior to the ceremony to symbolize the 2nd BCT’s presence.

“It is our mark of being here,” Freeman said. “It also symbolizes a new step for the Iraqi people, as we draw down U.S. forces.”

During the ceremony, Col. Malcolm Frost, commander, 2nd BCT, and Command Sgt. Maj. William Hain, the brigade’s senior enlisted leader, also placed a wreath of vibrant flowers at the base of the Contingency Operating Site Warhorse Memorial Garden in honor of the Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving here.

The memorial garden was built as a reminder of the sacrifices made by so many in support of OIF and OND. Placards listing the names of fallen Soldiers, from each unit that has served here, are plastered to the faces of these shorter, barrier walls.

More than 340 names have been painted onto the memorial during the seven years of conflict in Iraq.

“To all our veterans, I have a simple, yet heartfelt, message on behalf of those of us in uniform today,” Frost said. “Thank you for all you have done and for your service. Your shining example continues to inspire those who follow in your footsteps.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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