PRESS RELEASE GOWEN FIELD, ID – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team unveiled the 116th Cavalry Brigade Fallen Soldier Memorial and re-dedicated the 116th Cavalry Association’s memorial Friday at Gowen Field.
“This is to show the families and loved ones of those who have been lost, that they haven’t been forgotten,” said Lt. Col Jim Harper, 116th CBCT executive officer.
The event, held at both the Gowen Field Memorial Park and the brigade’s headquarters, celebrated the service of and honored the Soldiers who died in support of the brigade’s two deployments to Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom III in 2004-2005 and Operation New Dawn in 2010-2011 were the largest deployments in the Idaho Army National Guard’s history.
During the ceremony, retired Brig. Gen. Alan C. Gayhart read off the names of the 13 Soldiers who died during the deployments. Meanwhile, Soldiers hung individual dog tags on the battlefield cross, which stands on permanent display at the park.
The battlefield cross memorial consists of a cast of the fallen Soldier’s rifle stuck into the ground with the Soldier’s boots at its base and helmet on top of the rifle. Gayhart explained the historical significance of the cross, which is often used to honor the fallen in combat by fellow Soldiers unable to attend their comrade’s funeral.
A battlefield cross was also dedicated to the unit’s fallen Soldiers in a separate ceremony and now sits in the brigade’s headquarters building. The memorial was forged from the brass of ammunition fired by the brigade’s Soldiers during its first deployment to Iraq.
The family of Cpl. Carrie French, who was killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom III, attended the event.