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Fallen heroes honored at Fort Carson

By Scott Harrison
Published On: May 23 2013 06:02:38 PM CDT

The names of 10 soldiers and 2 airmen killed in action during the past year were added to a memorial wall at the Mountain Post on Thursday.

A ceremony at Fort Carson on Thursday remembered 12 servicemen killed during the past year in the ongoing war on terrorism.

The soldiers honored were:  Spcs. Mabry Anders and Kyle Rookey; Sgt. Tofiga Tautolo; Staff Sgts. Christopher Birdwell, Christopher Brown, David Nowaczyk and Mark Schoonhoven; 1st Lt. Alejo Thompson; Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin; and Maj. Thomas Kennedy.

Also honored were two members of the Air Force stationed at Fort Carson:  Senior Airman Bradley Smith and Maj. W. David Gray. 

Relatives and comrades attended the ceremony amid fog and drizzle at Fort Carson.  The names of the honorees were etched into the stone Global War on Terrorism Memorial in Kit Carson Park.

Ashley Damison came on behalf of her husband, to honor Thompson.  She said the ceremony put her life in perspective.

"My husband was hit by a suicide bomber on (his) second deployment," she said.  "So it always is very close to home.  It's very real, it's very emotional."

Sgt. Bonifacio Luna was a comrade of Anders and Birdwell.  He said the ceremony is helpful to the families.

"It helps to answer a lot of their questions," he said.  "They get to spend time with people who knew (fallen troops).  They get to ask a lot of questions about their sons or daughters."

Jerry Brown of Twin Falls, Idaho, returned to the ceremony a year after his son, Sgt. Daniel Brown, was killed.

"It's important for me to be associated still with Dan and the Army, he said.  "It was very important to Dan.  He loved the Army, and I love the memorial here."

A total of 378 servicemen and servicewomen from Fort Carson have died in the ongoing war on terrorism since it began in 2004.

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