By Staff Sgt. Dillon Heyliger, USASOC Public AffairsMay 24, 2018
FORT BRAGG, N.C. ˗ Twelve new names were unveiled on the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Memorial Wall during a ceremony that brought Gold Star Family Members and Soldiers together at the USASOC Memorial Plaza.
Lt. Gen. Kenneth E. Tovo, USASOC commanding general, echoed the words of the late President Abraham Lincoln, "We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do so ..."
"Ladies and gentlemen, especially our Gold Star families, on behalf of the United States Army Special Operations Command, I welcome each of you to our Fallen Warrior Memorial Ceremony," Lt. Gen. Kenneth E. Tovo, said. "It is my sincere honor to address you today as we take a moment to reflect on the lives, the service, and the sacrifices of the teammates, friends, and family we've lost."
The service members who were added to the wall all made the ultimate sacrifice while supporting USASOC operations in Afghanistan, Mali, and Niger.
"The wall honors each of our fallen as individuals, as sons and daughters, husbands, and wives, teammates and friends," Tovo said.
"The men we honor today came from different backgrounds, different hometowns, and different upbringings, yet they all shared common characteristics with the rest of the men and women of this command. Each followed a tough and deliberate path that led to Army Special Operations …" Tovo added.
"This year, we solemnly recognize the names of 12 exceptional Army Special Operations Soldiers on the Memorial Wall," Tovo said. "Their steadfast service and great personal sacrifice have earned these men a distinguished place in our ARSOF legacy."
Those recognized were Staff Sgt. Mark de Alencar, 7th Special Forces Group; Sgt. Joshua Rodgers and Sgt. Cameron Thomas, 75th Ranger Regiment; Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, 19th Special Forces Group; Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Sgt. La David Johnson, 3rd Special Forces Group; Sgt. First Class Stephen Cribben and Sgt. First Class Mihail Golin, 10th Special Forces Group; and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jacob Sims, 160th Special Operation Aviation Regiment.
"These 12, and indeed all those represented on the wall behind me, were exceptional Americans. They are exceptional because of their willingness to fight and sacrifice on behalf of their fellow man, and in response to their Nation's call." Tovo said.
"To our fallen warriors, words will never adequately convey our gratitude for all you have given to our nation …"
Following the ceremonial laying of the wreaths, a formation of two MH 47 Chinook helicopters from the 160th Night Stalkers, Special Operations Aviation Regiment, conducted a flyover in honor of our fallen. The afternoon commenced with the playing of TAPS and family members laying flowers on the wall.