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Warriors Walk gets three more trees
Tribute is for fallen soldiers
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A soldier escorts relatives of a fallen soldier to a place of honor for the ceremony. - photo by Photo by Joe Parker, Jr.
In his first public appearance since assuming command of Fort Stewart, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo honored three non-commissioned officers who gave their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom at tree dedication ceremony Thursday at Warriors Walk.
"Each lost his life because he answered the call of duty," Cucolo said, "a call they could easily have overlooked."
The honored soldiers were:
Sgt. Steve A. McCoy, 23, of Moultrie, who died June 10 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, of wounds suffered on March 23 in Baghdad, Iraq, when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
Staff Sgt. James P. Snyder, 49, of Nappanee, Ind., who died May 10 from injuries suffered while serving in Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning.
Sgt. 1st Class Jason F. Dene, 37, of Castleton, Vt., who died May 25 in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident May 24. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
After the ceremony, an admittedly overwhelmed Cucolo told reporters, "I don't have too many words," to describe the emotional tone of the dedication.
Cucolo described Warrior's Walk as "Arlington-like," saying it evokes in visitors the same awe-inspired feelings as the country's great memorials, such as the Vietnam Memorial Wall and the Korean War Memorial.
The addition of a memorial tree for each of the fallen soldiers brought the total number of trees on Warriors Walk to 414. The Eastern Red Buds planted on Warrior's Walk serve as a living monument to the men and women of the U.S. Army, the National Guard, and the 3rd Infantry Division soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
"I'm not sure America realizes what it has in this fine, all-volunteer Army." Cucolo said.
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