Idaho National Guard honors soldiers lost in Iraq

Who: Idaho Army National Guard, 116th Brigade Combat Team What: Dedicate a memorial in honor of 13 soldiers who died during combat operations between 2004, to 2011 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III and Operation New Dawn. When: May 19th, 2017 Where: Gowen Field Memorial Park, Boise, Idaho Why: Those soldiers who died are the following; SFC Mark C. Warren, 17May1960-31Jan2005, B Co., TF 3-116 Armor. MSG Robbie D. McNary 17Jan1960-31Mar2005 C Co., TF 1-163 Infantry. SSG Kevin D. Davis 12Mar1963-08Apr2005 G Trp, 82d CAV, TF 1-163 Infantry. SPC Timothy C. Kiser 05Feb1968-28Apr2005 C Co, 116th Engineer BN, TF 1-163 Infantry. SGT John Ogburn III 19Jul1959-22May2005 A Co., TF 3-116 Armor. SSG Virgil R. Case 18Oct1967-01Jun2005 B Co., 145 BSB. SPC Carrie L. French 28Feb1986-05Jun2005 A Co., 145 BSB. SFC Ronald T. Wood 17Feb1977-16Jul2005 B Battery, TF 1-148 Field Artillery. SGT Travis R. Neil 06Aug1979-09Sep2005 HHC, 116th CBCT. PFC Donnie S. Hamilton II 17Nov1969-09Sep2005 HHC, TF 3-116 Armor. SGT Travis M. Arndt 22May1982-21Sep2005 E Co/1-163 IN, TF 2-116 Armor. SPC Nicholas W. Newby 25Aug1990-07Jul2011 B Co., 145 BSB. SGT Nathan R. Beyers 17Apr1987-07Jul2011 B Co., 145 BSB.

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.

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