Brigade resumes mission in Baumholder, remembers fallen
April 25, 2012
Soldiers with 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team held two ceremonies April 4 to mark their return after a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
During an uncasing ceremony at the Hall of Champions, the brigade and battalion command teams unfurled their units' colors to symbolize their assumption of duties in Germany.
Col. Patrick Matlock, 170th IBCT commander, summarized the Bayonet Brigade's mission of training Afghan National Security Forces and thanked "three groups that deserve special recognition."
"We have held them to standard and asked the nearly impossible," Matlock said referring to the brigade's noncommissioned officers. "In every case, they have delivered mission accomplishment and more. From corporal to command sergeant major, every officer and Soldier in this brigade is proud to stand beside you and serve on your team."
Matlock also thanked Soldiers and civilians with the brigade's rear detachment, Baumholder Mayor Peter Lang and other members of the Baumholder community.
"This talented and dedicated group of Soldiers and civilians cared for our community, honored our fallen, and built and maintained the readiness of Soldiers and Families. …It is this team that makes Germany and Baumholder home and we are very grateful for your support and friendship," Matlock said.
"Finally and most importantly, I would like to thank our families. Nothing can make up for the absences and the missed family events, so on behalf of all of our Soldiers I will simply say thank you," he said.
At the brigade's headquarters, Matlock and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston, the 170th IBCT command sergeant major, unveiled a memorial dedicated to the nine Soldiers who died while the brigade was deployed. Family members, friends, comrades of the fallen Soldiers and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the U.S. Army Europe commander, attended.
"These nine men honored us with their service; their memory inspires us as we continue to serve. Like all of us, they were more than Soldiers. They were sons, brothers, husbands, fathers and friends," Matlock said.
"With us today we are especially grateful for the presence of family members…We can only offer our respect and our gratitude. We will never forget these Soldiers and we will be forever grateful that they served and that we were able to serve with them," he said.
The following Soldiers died while the 170th IBCT was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom: Sgt. 1st Class Alvin A. Boatwright, Staff Sgt. Scott H. Burgess, Staff Sgt. Jose Caraballo Pietri, Pfc. Jacob R. Crebessa, Staff Sgt. Edward F. Dixon, Spc. Tyler R. Kreinz, Staff Sgt. Michael S. Lammerts, Capt. Michael W. Newton, Staff Sgt. Alan L. Snyder.