By Sgt. Ben Hutto, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. Public AffairsJune 1, 2010
COS KALSU, Iraq - The 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division remembered their fallen Soldiers during a Memorial Day ceremony at Contingency Operating Site Kalsu May 31, 2010.
Lt. Col. David Priatko, the deputy commander of the 3rd HBCT, was the featured speaker at the ceremony and reminded the Soldiers that the deaths of their brethren weren't in vain.
"The loss of life is tragic, but the loss of these lives has special meaning for those of us that serve," he said. "By undertaking the same mission and responsibilities they did, we have a better understanding of what they accomplished with their lives and why their lives weren't given in vain."
Following a moment of silence, the names of all 79 "Sledgehammer" Soldiers who have given their lives during Operation Iraqi Freedom were read aloud for the troops assembled to take in and reflect on.
"Like all of us, each of these Soldiers had families, dreams, aspirations and promising futures," said Priatko. "They gave it all up in the name of freedom. Let us never forget their sacrifice."
One of the noncommissioned officers who read off the names, 1st Sgt. Demetrius Brown, Headquarters Company, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, was moved by the ceremony.
"I've been with 3rd Brigade for nine years of my military career," he said. "I deployed with them. I've served with them. I remember a lot of those names that were read and it means a lot to know they aren't forgotten."