• Spc. Samantha Lewis, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division chaplain's assistant, Chaplain (Capt.) Ronnie Irwin, 501st BSB chaplain and Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Gregory Walker, 3rd Infantry Division and RC-S chaplain, unveil the dedication banner for Chaplain (Capt.) Dale Goetz at the Forward Operating Base Walton dining facility, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, May 30. Chaplain Goetz was killed in Afghanistan in 2010; the dining facility was named in his honor.

    Dining facility commemorates fallen chaplain

    Spc. Samantha Lewis, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division chaplain's assistant, Chaplain (Capt.) Ronnie Irwin, 501st BSB chaplain and Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Gregory Walker, 3rd Infantry Division and RC-S chaplain, unveil the...

  • Chaplain (Capt.) Ronnie Irwin, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division battalion chaplain, speaks during the dedication ceremony for Chaplain (Capt.) Dale Goetz, Forward Operating Base Walton, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, May 30.  The dining facility at Walton was dedicated to Goetz, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

    Dining facility commemorates fallen chaplain

    Chaplain (Capt.) Ronnie Irwin, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division battalion chaplain, speaks during the dedication ceremony for Chaplain (Capt.) Dale Goetz, Forward Operating Base Walton, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan...

  • Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Gregory Walker, 3rd Infantry Division and Regional Command-South division chaplain, speaks during the dedication ceremony for Chaplain (Capt.) Dale Goetz, Forward Operating Base Walton, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, May 30.  The dining facility at Walton was dedicated to Goetz, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

    Dining facility commemorates fallen chaplain

    Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Gregory Walker, 3rd Infantry Division and Regional Command-South division chaplain, speaks during the dedication ceremony for Chaplain (Capt.) Dale Goetz, Forward Operating Base Walton, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, May 30. The...

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WALTON, Afghanistan-Memorial Day is a time to commemorate Soldiers who have fallen in battle- past and present. Chaplain (Capt.) Dale Goetz is, to this date, the only chaplain to have been killed in war since 1970.

Goetz, who was the battalion chaplain for 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colo., was killed August 30, 2010, when the convoy he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device in the Arghandab Valley, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The strike killed four additional Soldiers.

"Dale Goetz was a chaplain that gave the ultimate sacrifice," said Chaplain (Capt.) Ronnie Irwin, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division battalion chaplain.

Goetz was known to spend much of his time in the dining facility while deployed, getting to know his Soldiers, building relationships and interacting with them.

It would only be appropriate to dedicate a dining facility to Goetz. The dining facility at Forward Operating Base Walton was unknowingly already named after Goetz, discovered through a small sign, by Irwin and Chaplain (Maj.) Mark Nakazono, 1/1 AD brigade chaplain.

"We did a lot of research and we were not able to really determine how or why the facility was named for Chaplain Goetz, it is a little bit of a mystery," said Irwin. "We knew it had been named for him but we wanted to officially dedicate it and make sure the guests there knew the chaplain it was named for."

A ceremony was held at Walton, May 30, to formally dedicate the dining facility to Goetz.

"It's a great opportunity to memorialize him so Soldiers and other service members and civilians who go through can see what he's done and the kind of life he's lived," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Gregory Walker, 3rd Infantry Division and Regional Command-South chaplain. "He was a dirty boots chaplain; he liked to get out there and be with the Soldiers."

Dozens of Soldiers and civilians attended the ceremony, held at the chapel, to undrape the dedication poster. The ceremony then moved to the dining facility where it was officially unveiled to all the patrons.

"We took the opportunity as close to Memorial Day as we could to honor his life, his service and his sacrifice, as well as remember and honor our heroes who have fallen," concluded Irwin. "His ministry and his impact are not forgotten."

Page last updated Fri June 7th, 2013 at 00:00