By Sharon Mulligan, Combined Arms Support Command Public AffairsDecember 13, 2011
FORT LEE, Va. - A memorial honoring sustainment Soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice supporting operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn was presented to the Combined Arms Support Command in a small ceremony Dec. 13.
The Fallen Warrior Memorial will be temporarily housed in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum, where it can be viewed by the public until February 2012, said Dr. Steven E. Anders, CASCOM historian. "An exhibit area is currently being prepared at the Army Logistics University, where the memorial will be permanently displayed."
The memorial includes several components such as the sculpture of a helmet, rifle and combat boots, which sits on top of a tiered wood base. A cased American flag and plaque are at the front of the memorial and 199 carefully hung identification tags are draped across the rifle. There is also a slide presentation with profiles of each fallen warrior.
The cast bronze memorial was escorted to Fort Lee, Va., by Soldiers from the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. They brought it from Joint Base Balad, in Iraq, through Kuwait and Germany, en route to Dover, Del., and then to the Home of Sustainment where it will stand as a lasting tribute to the fallen Soldiers for their selfless service.
During the ceremony, Staff Sgt. Tara Franceschina explained the significance of the memorial's design and read the names of the 199 Soldiers, who died in Iraq from 2003-2011.
"The helmet and identification tags signify the fallen Soldier," Franceschina said. "The inverted rifle with bayonet signals a time for prayer and a break in the action to pay tribute to the dead. And, the combat boots represent the final march of the last battle."
ALU is an excellent setting for the memorial since this is where all sustainment leaders - noncommissioned officers, officers and warrant officers -- engage in training and leader development courses, Anders said. "It will serve as a constant reminder of their valor and as a shining example of heroism and courage for future generations to follow."
A formal unveiling ceremony will be conducted in February.