The 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command held a memorial rededication Friday at Hildner Field to honor 110 soldiers who died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001, while serving with the unit.
The ceremony included a wreath laying, remarks by unit commander Brig. Gen. Douglas McBride Jr., and a cake-cutting reception in the unit’s chapel.
McBride called the memorial pavilion “a tribute to a physical and visual reminder of the soldiers that brings meaning to the sacrifice of our missing and fallen.
“Those who wore the patch or served in units under the ESC patch are forever part of our history and our legacy,” he said. “Today, we honor them. Today, we honor their past. Today, we honor their sacrifice.”
The memorial pavilion includes a monument, a wall of honor inscribed with the names of the fallen, an area for meditation and an engraved brick walkway.
“It is important for everyone that is currently in the organization to understand what it means to fight for freedom, because freedom is not free,” said McBride. “We are the land of the free and the home of the brave because of their sacrifice. This is an opportunity to take a pause and reflect upon the great contributions of the soldiers of the past.”
Jay Taggart, chairman of the corporate membership committee for the 13th COSCOM Association and Fort Hood Good Neighbor, appreciates the deep meaning of the memorial for the soldiers who gave their lives in combat and for their families.
“It’s very important that we have this annual event as a reminder to each and every one of us to never forget those who have given everything,” he said.
The 13th COSCOM Association is a nonprofit organization and continues to uphold its mission of support of the soldiers of the 13th ESC, educating the unit family, linking its soldiers and veterans with the local community, recording its history and maintaining tribute to the unit’s fallen.
“Communication is so important for us, because we want to keep our relationships going so that we know what we can do to help,” said Taggart. “Our goal is to make sure that we are doing the right things to support the unit, but also to make sure we are supporting the soldiers and families that are in the 13th ESC.”
The 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, which handles Army logistics, celebrated its 52nd active year this week and will continue to work toward its mission of validating readiness to deploy.