MPs, past and present, remember fallen comrades
By Sgt. 1st Class Mark BellDecember 3, 2014
FORT MYER, Va. -- Dozens of former and current military police Soldiers gathered at Arlington National Ceremony to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice during a Military Police Remembrance Ceremony held Nov. 17 here.Maj. Gen. Mark S. Inch, the Army Provost Marshal General, and Sgt. Maj. Dawn RippleMyer, the Army Provost Sergeant Major, hosted the early-morning ceremony to reflect back on those 821 military police men and women who have died since World War I.Inch welcomed people to the Military Police Marker at Site 55, in Arlington, as cold weather and constant rain didn't keep past and current Soldiers away.Inch introduced guest speaker Col. (Retired) Don Salo, a member of the Senior Executive Service, who serves as the Director, Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency.Salo, an MP officer, retired after 27 years of experience in leading successful law enforcement and criminal investigative organization.Salo spoke of the late 1970s when he was assigned to the 561st MP Company at Fort Myer. He remembered walking through the gates at the low wall separating the fort from the Arlington National Cemetery and watching the changing of the Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier."Things have changed over the past almost four decades since I was a private first class," he said. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the gates at that low wall hanging have since been closed for force protection concerns."Yes, times have changed, but the one constant is the ultimate sacrifice that our Military Police men and women have made in the support of this nation, and this marker, which was first dedicated in 2003, honors those fallen heroes."Although the Military Police celebrate 73 years as a Corps, Salo said all MPs know their lineage harkens back to the beginnings of the country."We know our history, but we're more acquainted with the modern day MPs that we have come to honor today," he said. "Today, we honor over 250 heroes from our greatest generation."Salo said the MP Corps' fallen comrades have touched so many lives."They are bonded to us by their service, sacrifice and commitment," he said. "We honor them for their unequalled contributions in defense of the freedoms we all enjoy and value. We will never forget."After the ceremony, the group traveled to The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Ceremony, where Inch, RippleMyer and Salo placed a wreath to honor all military police -- past and present.Sgt. Maj. Jay Fowler was at the wreath laying at the Tomb to represent all military police wounded warriors.