US Army Reserve Command Story by Timothy Hale 6.6.2012
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – A permanent memorial, dedicated to all U.S. Army Reserve soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for freedom throughout history, was unveiled June 6, 2012, at the U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters, here.
Thurgood asked the audience to “honor and remember their sacrifice by the life we lead and let this memorial be a reminder that freedom is always a matter of choice and never a matter of chance.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Schultz, the command’s top enlisted Soldier, pointed out that it was fitting that on the 68th anniversary of D-Day, the Army Reserve was dedicating the memorial.
Of the 160,000 Allied soldiers who participated in Operation Overlord, over 25 percent were Army Reserve officers and Soldiers, Schultz said.
He said the memorial is dedicated to all soldiers throughout history who have lived the Army values, who have given their lives for defending the nation.
“As we pass this (memorial) as soldiers, civilians and family members, they will not be forgotten in our headquarters,” Schultz said. “I ask that as we look at this that we always remember.”
The permanent display was placed in an existing area in the foyer of the headquarters shared by the U.S. Army Forces Command and USARC.
The memorial features a bronze helmet, boots, symbolic identification tags, and rifle that flank a glass etched plaque placed on dark paneled wood.
The glass plaque reads; “This memorial is dedicated to all U.S. Army Reserve soldiers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for this Great Nation.”
Centered under the plaque is a folded American flag, sealed in a glass and wooden case.
The memorial display was realized thanks to the efforts of two Army Reserve Casualty Service Office non-commissioned officers.
Master Sgts. Brandon Best and Richard Williams set out eight months ago with a sketch on a piece of paper. Today, the final touches on the display are complete.
Best, the non-commissioned officer in charge of casualty services, said the completed memorial fills them both with pride.
“I certainly believe the majority of soldiers in the Army Reserve do have an appreciation for the sacrifices (other) soldiers have gone through,” Best said.
“It is mine and Master Sgt. Best’s way of remembering these soldiers,” Williams added.