Sappers honor those lost in combat Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 April 2013
The Engineer Regiment official party remove the cover from the Fallen Sapper Memorial during a ceremony on April 18 in Memorial Grove. The names of the 24 engineer Soldiers lost in combat during 2012 were added to the momument prior to the ceremony.
Story and photo by Melissa Buckley
GUIDON staff
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In the frigid shadows of the evening clouds, mourners gathered at Engineer Memorial Grove on April 18 to pay respects to the 24 engineer Soldiers who lost their lives last year — one of the most significant events of engineer Regimental Week.

During the tribute Brig. Gen. Duke DeLuca, U.S. Army Engineer School commandant, addressed the Families of the fallen Sappers.

“There are a lot of ceremonies the Army has already conducted in order to pay the proper respects to the sacrifice you have endured, and your Soldier has gave to their nation. The question arises — why one more? The important answer to that is your Sappers were in units around the Army and many of them had served in many units. Of all the units they served in, their home was the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment here at Fort Leonard Wood. It’s important for us to pay our respects and memorialize your family’s sacrifice in the form of their names on the memorial wall — which will stand here forever,” DeLuca said.

DeLuca’s remarks were followed by a moment of silence, roll call of the fallen, firing of volleys and taps.

Next, the 24 newly etched names were unveiled in the memorial’s stone. Families surrounded the wall touched the names and used their cell phones to take photos.

All the Sappers who died in 2012 were serving in Afghanistan. They are: Cpl. Antonio Burnside, Spc. Junot Cochilus, 2nd Lt. David Rylander, Staff Sgt. Alexander Povilaitis, Spc. Trevor Pinnick, Sgt. 1st Class Barett McNabb, Sgt. Joseph Lilly, Spc. Sergio Perez, Spc. Nicholas Taylor, Cpl. Darrion Hicks, Pvt. 1st Class Jeffrey Rice, Pvt. 1st Class, Julian Colvin, Staff Sgt. Richard Berry, Pvt. 1st Class Jose Belmontes, Sgt. 1st Class Bobby Estle, Sgt. Kyle McClain, Staff Sgt. Christopher Birdwell, Spc. Ryan Jayne, Sgt. Brett Gornewicz, Staff Sgt. Dain Venne, Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle, Spc. Tyler Orgaard, Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde, and Pvt. 1st Class Markie Sims.

DeLuca explained to the fallen Sapper’s Families why every class that graduates from the Engineer School has to come to the memorial to be inducted into the regiment.

“They don’t become part of the regiment until they come here. It’s a torch light ceremony that refers to the heroism that has been displayed since 1775 by engineers. The same kind of heroism that was displayed by your fallen Soldier,” DeLuca said.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 May 2013 )