FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Twelve new names, including Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jacob Sims, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, were unveiled on the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Memorial Wall during a ceremony May 24 that brought Gold Star family members and Soldiers together at the USASOC Memorial Plaza.
“Ladies and gentlemen, especially our Gold Star families, on behalf of the United States Army Special Operations Command, I welcome each of you to our Fallen Warrior Memorial Ceremony,” said Lt. Gen. Kenneth Tovo, USASOC commanding general. “It is my sincere honor to address you today as we take a moment to reflect on the lives, the service, and the sacrifices of the teammates, friends and family we’ve lost.”
The service members who were added to the wall all made the ultimate sacrifice while supporting USASOC operations in Afghanistan, Mali and Niger.
“The wall honors each of our fallen as individuals, as sons and daughters, husbands, and wives, teammates and friends,” Tovo said. “The men we honor today came from different backgrounds, different hometowns and different upbringings, yet they all shared common characteristics with the rest of the men and women of this command. Each followed a tough and deliberate path that led to Army Special Operations.
“This year, we solemnly recognize the names of 12 exceptional Army Special Operations Soldiers on the Memorial Wall. Their steadfast service and great personal sacrifice have earned these men a distinguished place in our (Army Special Forces) legacy.”
Along with Sims, from the 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, those recognized were: Staff Sgt. Mark de Alencar, 7th Special Forces Group; Sgt. Joshua Rodgers and Sgt. Cameron Thomas, 75th Ranger Regiment; Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, 19th Special Forces Group; Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Sgt. La David Johnson, 3rd Special Forces Group; Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Cribben and Sgt. 1st Class Mihail Golin, 10th Special Forces Group.
“These 12, and indeed all those represented on the wall behind me, were exceptional Americans,” Tovo said. “They are exceptional because of their willingness to fight and sacrifice on behalf of their fellow man and in response to their nation’s call.
“To our fallen warriors, words will never adequately convey our gratitude for all you have given to our nation.”
Following the ceremonial laying of the wreaths, a formation of two MH 47 Chinook helicopters from the 160th Night Stalkers, Special Operations Aviation Regiment, headquartered at Fort Campbell, Ky., conducted a flyover in honor of our fallen.
The event ended with the playing of taps and family members laying flowers on the wall.