Afghanistan base renamed in honor of commander who died in combat
Lt. Col. Christopher D. Kolenda, commander of the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry (left), and 1-91st Command Sgt. Maj. Victor Pedraza unveil a plaque dedicated to Maj. Thomas Bostick at Forward Operating Base Naray, Afghanistan, during a ceremony to name the base in the major's honor June 28. Bostick was killed in a firefight near Kamu, Afghanistan on July 27, 2007.

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Forward Operating Base Naray here was renamed FOB Bostick to honor and remember a commander who died leading his Soldiers in combat.

Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Afghan National Army Soldiers gathered near FOB Naray's helicopter landing zone June 28 to officially rename the base in memory of Maj. Thomas Bostick, former commander of Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne), from Llano, Texas.

"Today we celebrate the life of the finest combat leader I have ever met," said Lt. Col. Christopher D. Kolenda, the 1-91st commander, during the dedication ceremony. "He died while saving the lives of his paratroopers against a numerically superior foe."

On July 27, 2007, Bostick was leading a convoy back to FOB Keating after meeting with local elders near Kamu when it was ambushed by insurgents. Bostick and Staff Sgt. William R. Fritsche were killed during the ensuing firefight. Thirteen American Soldiers were wounded.

"We dedicate this forward operating base to his legacy and memory. Let all who enter this base, and all who write or speak the name of it be reminded that freedom is not free," said Kolenda.

A few days after the firefight village elders tired of fighting going on near their villages approached Kolenda about improving security in the area. As a result the group called together a 100-man shura, or council, to discuss the issue.

"The price paid in blood that day has led to greater stability in of the most violent districts in the country, set the conditions for the emergence of the 100-man shura, and has increased the safety and security of civilian and soldier alike in that region," Kolenda said.

Near the end of the ceremony two F-15 fighter jets flew side-by-side over FOB Bostick in its namesake's honor.

Page last updated Fri July 11th, 2008 at 05:39