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Dedication ceremony honors three 3rd ID soldiers killed in Iraq

Trees added to Warriors Walk

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POSTED: June 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Andrea Washington / Coastal Courier/

Neva Norris, mother of Pfc. Kyle P. Norris, rubs the camouflage cloth that covered her son's granite engraved marker along Warriors Walk on Fort Stewart.

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The gentle breeze blowing on Fort Stewart could not dry the tears rolling down the faces of family and friends Thursday morning as three more eastern red bud trees and engraved granite markers were added to Warriors Walk.
The 3rd Infantry Division held a special tree dedication ceremony to pay homage to "three great people, three fine soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice": Pvt. Ronald R. Harrison, Spc. Mary J. Jaenichen and Pfc. Kyle P. Norris.
"They each answered their nation's call to duty," Fort Stewart Commanding General Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said before briefly eulogizing each soldier, "serving to protect what we hold dear."
Harrison, a member of the division's 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, died of a non-combat related injury at Forward Operating Base Falcon near Baghdad, Iraq.
The 25-year-old Bradley Fighting Vehicle mechanic joined the Army in September 2005 and arrived at Fort Stewart in January 2007.
Lynch described Harrison as a "responsible, humorous and kind persona that always tried to do good for his friends and for his family."
"He was going to make the Army his career and then (Harrison) was planning one day to move back to Texas to live with his wife and child and work as a mechanic," the commanding general said, "just like the job he did so very well in our Army."
Jaenichen was a 20-year-old native of Temecula, Calif. who became interested in the military as a student at El Camino High School where she was a member of the school's Junior ROTC program all four years.
After graduating from high school and joining the Army in June 2006, she often returned to her alma mater to speak with JRTOC members about her experience in the military and to remind them of the importance of serving the country.
Jaenichen, an MP with the Brigade Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, died of a non-combat related injury in Iskandariyah, Iraq, but her love for giving back to her community did not go with her, Lynch said.
"She was a caring, involved person who enjoyed reaching out and giving back to those who helped her achieve her goals," he said. "Her cheerfulness and her sense of community will never be forgotten."
Norris joined the Army in February 2006 to protect the two things he loved most in life: his country and his family.
The 22-year-old Zanesville, Ohio native was an infantryman with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team who was "devoted to mission accomplishment and worked hard to make sure that whatever task he and his fellow soldiers were given was accomplished to standard," Lynch said.
Norris died May 23 in Balad, Iraq after suffering wounds when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device during a patrol May 22 in Jurf as Sakhr.
The addition of memorials for Harrison, Jaenichen and Norris brings the total number of granite markers and trees on Warriors Walk to 411, one for each of the 3rd ID and affiliated units' soldiers who have died in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Lynch said the service of "these three soldiers and their brothers and sisters beside them" is forever etched into the history of the nation.
"The soldiers whose trees line these paths have made history through their sacrifice and deserve to be remembered," he said. "All who walk these paths will pause, read the names of the soldiers honored and reflect on the sacrifices these soldiers made for freedom."
 

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