FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service May 27, 2021) – Ten additional names were added to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Memorial Wall during a ceremony at the USASOC Memorial Plaza.
The sacred gathering of Gold Star Family Members, Department of the Army Civilians, and service members both past and present was the first in-person USASOC tribute since the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was held to recognize Army Special Operations Forces Soldiers (ARSOF) who gave their last full measure of devotion while supporting USASOC operations abroad.
“Since September 11, 2001 this command alone has lost 376 extra-ordinary Army Special Operations brothers and sisters who left in our care over 1,600 Gold Star Family members,” Lt. Gen. Francis Beaudette, USASOC, commanding general said. “Their loss in defense of our freedom leaves us no longer whole.”
Beaudette highlighted the roles of ARSOF Soldiers in closing out the Afghanistan conflict along with other combat operations. The American Homeland is safe and standing unafraid due to the patriotic actions of those being honored, he said.
“They are forever irreplaceable and we owe each and every one them and their family members left behind a debt we know we can never repay,” Beaudette said. “These are our greatest heroes.
Today, we recognize for the first time in person ten of those we owe so much. Taken together these ten men deployed 50 times to combat. Fifty times they said “send me” asking for nothing in return. There are never words that will ever express the depth of our gratitude or describe the heartfelt loss that remains in their absence.”
Following remarks, the black curtain concealing the wall was drawn back revealing it to the Gold Star Families and Soldiers in attendance. The names of the ten fallen heroes added to the memorial wall join the 1,241 USASOC Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice from the Korean War to present day.
USASOC leaders placed wreaths in front of the wall following the reading of the names. Wreath laying is a time honored tradition that represents the continuance of life and immortality.
“It’s here at this Memorial Wall where we can see and touch names, remember stories. Recall our connections and reaffirm our pledge to never forget our Nations heroes,” Beaudette said. "Here at this Memorial wall we renew our commitment to our team mates and to their loved ones. Our memorial wall grounds us and it keeps us connected. It reminds why we stand ready, willing and able to confront evil anywhere to protect the unalienable rights of our fellow citizens and to help our partners and our allies do the same.”