82nd Airborne holds memorial to honor fallen comrades
Posted June 23, 2010 6:04 a.m. EDT
Updated June 23, 2010 6:38 p.m. EDT
Fort Bragg, N.C. — Paratroopers at Fort Bragg held an annual memorial service Wednesday to honor their fallen comrades.
The 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers laid a memorial wreath honoring 82nd soldiers killed from World War I through the current wars. The 82nd lost 29 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last year.
Kristen Santos-Silva's husband died three months ago.
“It’s hard because it’s just another reminder that he doesn’t get to come back home with his battalion in September,” she said. “We were married for 12 years.”
Sgt. First Class Carlos Santos-Silva was on his fourth deployment when he was killed in Afghanistan. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery. “That’s where he wanted to be at. He wanted to be with his brothers,” said Kristen Santos-Silva said.
Greg Bauer attended the ceremony in honor of his brother, Staff Sgt. Jason Bauer, who was killed in Baghdad in 2009.
“You don’t forget. You just learn to deal with it and move on and appreciate what he had given for the rest of us,” he said. “And I know he’s proud of what he had done.”
Officials read the names of 199 of paratroopers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq in the past decade.
“It was kind of hard. Hearing all the soldiers who have been killed in action, and then to hear my husband’s name,” said Shana Crumpler, widow of Spc. Josiah Crumpler, who was killed in Afghanistan in March.
The division usually holds its memorial ceremony the week before Memorial Day. The 82nd canceled this year's celebration because many of the unit's paratroopers were in Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti.