Green Berets honor fallen comrade
November 21, 2008
FORT LEWIS, Wash. - Hundreds stood silent in the early morning rain as members of the 1st Special Forces Group paid tribute to a comrade whose name was added to the unit's memorial wall Nov. 11.
Staff Sgt. David W. Textor, the 163rd name inscribed on the granite wall, is the 25th name added since Sept. 11, 2001. Textor, a native of Jamestown, N.Y., was serving with A Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st SFG, when he was killed July 15 in Mosul, Iraq, during combat operations. It was his first deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
After a playing of the national anthem and a prayer, Col. Rand Binford, the group's commander, praised Textor and all veterans for their service.
"From the fields and forest of war-torn Europe during the first and second world wars and the jungles of Southeast Asia to the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, brave patriots have protected our nation's ideals, rescued millions from tyranny and helped spread freedom around the globe," he said.
After presenting the fallen Soldier's widow, Colette Textor, with a bouquet of flowers, a Green Beret removed the tape that concealed the newly chiseled name. Textor's name contrasted against the grayer, weathered names.
Bagpipers played "Amazing Grace," followed by a rifle salute and taps.
Colette and two of the couple's five children, 9-year-old McKenna and 5-year-old Ryan, walked with Binford to the wall. He spoke quietly to them while they paid their respects.
Once the ceremony concluded, members of the group lined up to pay their respects.
Textor's battalion commander in Iraq, Lt. Col. John Deedrick, described the Special Forces weapons sergeant as "a great Soldier" and a "proven warrior with proven courage and a great father" during a memorial ceremony at Taji, Iraq, earlier this year.
Textor's team leader in Iraq said Textor was the type of person who would continuously seek improvement in himself and those around him.
"If it was 32 degrees out and raining, Dave would motivate you," said Capt. Jerry Tuck.
Other Soldiers understood the importance of the Veterans Day rededication.
"This ceremony is important because we recognize veterans from our past and present, including a great American named Dave Textor," said a Soldier and friend of Textor's.
Many of the Soldiers with whom Textor served weren't able to attend because they're still deployed to Iraq and wouldn't be back until early next year.
The ceremony occurred one year and a day after fellow 1st SFG Green Beret, Sgt. Maj. Craig A. Griffin, died from heart disease. Griffin is now the second-to-last name on the wall.
Construction on the granite wall began in November 2003, and it was completed the following year, replacing a smaller memorial. The cost of construction was paid for with donations from Fort Lewis-area businesses and private citizens. The wall recognizes the men who served in Vietnam, Haiti, Bosnia, the Pentagon, and the Middle East.
By Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Kosterman, is assigned to the Public Affairs section, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). The story appeared in Fort Lewis' Northwest Guardian.