• Judy Craig and her daughter, Leona, kneel before the 172nd Infantry Brigade memorial after the Memorial Day ceremony in Tower Barracks. The Craigs, a Gold Star Family, lost their husband and father, Staff Sgt. Heathe Nathanniel Craig, in Afghanistan in 2006.

    172nd memorial

    Judy Craig and her daughter, Leona, kneel before the 172nd Infantry Brigade memorial after the Memorial Day ceremony in Tower Barracks. The Craigs, a Gold Star Family, lost their husband and father, Staff Sgt. Heathe Nathanniel Craig, in Afghanistan in...

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars members thank the Gold Star Families in attendance at the Memorial Day ceremony on Tower Barracks, May 22.

    Giving thanks

    Veterans of Foreign Wars members thank the Gold Star Families in attendance at the Memorial Day ceremony on Tower Barracks, May 22.

  • Representatives from the Girl and Boy Scouts of America, along with U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Commander Col. James Saenz, salute a memorial wreath honoring fallen Soldiers during the Memorial Day ceremony on Tower Barracks, May 22.

    Remembering the fallen

    Representatives from the Girl and Boy Scouts of America, along with U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Commander Col. James Saenz, salute a memorial wreath honoring fallen Soldiers during the Memorial Day ceremony on Tower Barracks, May 22.

  • U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Commander Col. James Saenz delivers his Memorial Day speech in Tower Barracks, May 22.

    Speaking up

    U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Commander Col. James Saenz delivers his Memorial Day speech in Tower Barracks, May 22.

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- When Pfc. Kevin Luna was killed in Iraq in 2005, his wife, Stephanie, stayed in Bavaria.

"I have my family and friends in the area, so at first it wasn't so much about the military," she said. "But, every time I drove on post in Vilseck, it was a good feeling."

Stephanie eventually found a job at the dental clinic and remains part of the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria community.

"It just feels good being back on Rose Barracks where we started dating," she said.

During the Memorial Day ceremony on May 22, the garrison honored Kevin along with two other fallen Soldiers with families in the community: Spc. Brian Bowman and Staff Sgt. Heathe Nathanniel Craig.

Speaking to a crowd of Veterans of Foreign Wars and community members and Gold Star Families, USAG Bavaria Commander Col. James Saenz, beseeched the audience to remember the Soldiers who died fighting in places such as Valley Forge, Bastogne, Ia Drang Valley and Fallujah.

Saenz recalled the heroism of the local Soldiers, thanking their families for their sacrifice.

"Today, we recall three particular Soldiers who fell in other faraway places. They, too, sought to bring stability and security to those most in need. For them, it was in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Saenz.

"Going into harm's way, they knew they were fighting for a cause greater than themselves. Their unwavering devotion inspires all of us; they are the best of who we are," he added.

The recognition allowed Stephanie to feel even more that Kevin will remain in the garrison's collective memory.

"I refuse to say 'not forgotten,' because 'not' and 'forgotten' are negative," she said.

"I'm thankful that he was there. I'm not just sad that he left, but happy that I got to meet him. I like to say that I met my guardian angel."

Page last updated Thu May 29th, 2014 at 06:24