Raider Brigade raises funds for Fallen Soldiers' Memorial
Colonel Roger Cloutier, 1st HBCT, 3rd ID commander; Laura Rittenhouse, chairman of the Raider Brigade Memorial and wife of Maj. Troy Rittenhouse, 1st HBCT rear detachment commander; and Cameron Mattingly, sales manager for Savannah Coca Cola United, pose with a $5,000 check Coca-Cola donated to the Raider Brigade Memorial at Fort Stewart, Oct. 6.

<b>FORT STEWART, Ga. </b> - For two years, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, has been working on a project to honor fallen Soldiers who served in the unit during combat operations in Iraq.

That goal came a further step to fruition when Savannah Coca Cola United gave $5,000 to complete the Raider Brigade Fallen Soldiers Memorial at Fort Stewart, Oct. 6.

Laura Rittenhouse, wife of Maj. Troy Rittenhouse, rear detachment commander for 1st HBCT, has overseen the memorial. She was on hand to see Col. Roger Cloutier, 1st HBCT commander, accept the donation.

"It's important that the Families have a place to honor and remember their fallen Soldiers," she said. "It's not just for the Families. It's for the Soldiers who have lost friends, and to honor the hard work and the sacrifices they've all made for us to continue to have the freedoms that we've had and to be safe."

For Savannah Coca Cola United, it was a chance to give to the Soldiers who have given so much for their nation.

"If there's anyone in this area that deserves this kind of support, it's the military Families and these Soldiers," said Cameron Mattingly, sales manager for Savannah Coca Cola United. "They sacrifice so much. This memorial is about the Soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice."

For Mattingly, this was an opportunity to give back to the community he grew up in; his father served on Fort Stewart.

"I could see a young son or daughter being able to bring their child to [their grandparent's] memorial on Fort Stewart," he added. "It will give Families something permanent to connect to."

With this donation, Savannah Coca Cola United has donated a total of $10,000 to the memorial.
Colonel Cloutier accepted the donation for the fund on his last day of leave from Iraq.

"We're going to have the names of 107 Soldiers that have fallen, as part of the brigade, during the war in Iraq," he said. "It's going to be an island of tranquility, a place for Soldiers and Family Members to come and remember the sacrifice of their Soldiers."

Colonel Cloutier added that his brigade has done a phenomenal job serving in Baghdad and the surrounding areas during the unit's current deployment.

According to Rittenhouse, this donation is a significant step in the right direction for the memorial's completion, but the project is still accepting donations.

For more information on the memorial and information on how to donate to the cause, visit www.raiderbrigadememorial.com.

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