FORT HOOD — On a cloudy Saturday morning, approximately 100 soldiers, veterans, family members and friends came from as far as Washington State and Pennsylvania to pay tribute to the fallen in a wreath laying ceremony at the 3rd Cavalry Regiment Memorial on Fort Hood as part of the closing ceremony the unit’s 173rd anniversary.
“There are many names etched in stone in many places across our country. Names of our comrades, friends that we remember and served with,” said retired Col. David A. Teeples, the 70th commander for the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, “And our duty is to remember them. Remember their service, their lives and their families. Our purpose every day, in the words of our 67th colonel, is to ‘make it matter’.”
For Lisa Morris and her husband, who traveled from Colorado to attend the ceremony, the event held a special meaning. Their son, Spc. Matthew Morris, was serving in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was killed while on a convoy as part of a military transitional team in 2008.
“For the last 11 years we have received cards from 3rd Cavalry Regiment on our son’s angel birthday, his birthday, on Mother’s Day, and at Christmas. It’s just wonderful,” said Morris “This unit is our family.”
Capt. Scott Rankin, commander of Bravo Troop Regimental Support Squadron, spoke about Sgt. Douglas J. Riney, who saved his life during an ambush while serving in Iraq in 2016. Riney died, leaving behind a wife and two children.
“Riney was a great, great father. He was a fireman and he devoted his life to public service,” said Rankin, “He definitely did what he had to do and orchestrated himself exceptionally as a soldier. And I’m just happy to be here alive today because of his service.”
An invocation was given by 3rd Cavalry Regimental chaplain Maj. RC Kuhlman. The memorial concluded with the wreath laying by regimental commander Col. Jonathan Byrom and Command Sgt. Maj. Adam Nash, the unit’s top enlisted soldier, followed by taps and a 21-gun salute.
“This memorial is a reminder that these troopers are heroes. That they are part of the 1% that raised their right hand and volunteered to protect the liberties and freedoms of this country.” Byrom said. “And we have a duty that goes beyond memory and honor. We have a duty to live our lives in a way that upholds the ideas that these men and women gave up their lives for.”