<b>FORT STEWART, Ga. </b>- Sergeant Lakeshia M. Bailey and Sgt. Aaron M. Arthur, both of Company G, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, were killed of injuries sustained in a vehicle rollover north of Al Kut, Iraq, March 8.

The two were friends, and on April 15, they were honored, side-by-side, at Warriors' Walk, with the 425th and 426th Eastern Redbud trees planted in Fort Stewart's soil.

"Today, two more trees take root in this ground made sacred with the spreading branches of 424, which have just borne their blossoms along this Warriors Walk," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, 3rd Infantry Division deputy commanding general-rear. "Sergeant Bailey and Sergeant Arthur were friends. They shared respect for each other and lived the Warrior ethos, a moral compass they had actually been following for years before they ever took our oath."

Sergeant Arthur, 25, of Lake City, S.C., was a 2003 graduate of Lake City High School where he played baseball and football and was an active member of the Junior ROTC. He joined the Army in November 2003, five months after he graduated from high school. He arrived in Fort Benning in March 2004. As a six-year veteran in the Army, Sgt. Arthur received many awards and ribbons, including two Army Good Conduct Medals, an Overseas Service Ribbon and a Combat Action Badge. He is survived by his wife, Darsal Arthur, and his parents, Bobbie Jean and Levern Abraham.

Sergeant Lakeshia M. Bailey, 23, of Columbus, Ga., followed in her father's footsteps and joined the Army after graduating from Spencer High School. She arrived at Fort Benning in June 2006, and previously deployed to Iraq in 2007. Sergeant Bailey is survived by her husband, Harrison Bateman, and her parents, Tony and Phyllis Bailey. Her awards and medals include the Army Commendation Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, an Army Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, two Iraq Campaign Medals, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, an Army Service Ribbon and an Overseas Service Ribbon.

"I remember her wonderful smile," said Patsy Blidge, who was a Family friend of Sgt. Bailey. "Lakeshia never knew an enemy... she was always a true and good friend. She was a very wonderful, out-going, loving person."

The dedication brought together Family, friends and colleagues to honor the fallen Soldiers.

"I'm humbled at the fact that we're able to honor these great Americans today," said Capt. Matthew Jones, 1/10 FA rear detachment commander. "They were great NCOs, great folks... they were two amazing Soldiers."

In his closing remarks, Brig. Gen. Phillips summed up the feelings of everyone in the audience.

"Sergeants Lakeshia Bailey and Aaron Arthur will be remembered as dedicated Soldiers, committed volunteers, leaders, and proud American Soldiers," he said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16