FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Sept. 3, 2021) Just after sunset on the evening of Aug. 31, a group of about 50 service members and their families stood on the lawn in front of the Marine Corps Detachment headquarters building to pay tribute to the 11 Marines, one Sailor and one Soldier killed Aug. 26, while supporting evacuation efforts near the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The modest salute — called the Afghanistan Angels Memorial — included boots, flags and photographs of the fallen. Attendees laid flowers. It was organized by the Marine Detachment’s spouses volunteer group after the remains of the service members were returned to the U.S. this week.
Rachel Wade, wife of Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Wade, said the event was organized in about 18 hours.
“We feel strongly that the memorial brings us closer together and helps us honor those that have sacrificed their lives for us,” she said.
It’s important to honor the fallen, Gunnery Sgt. Wade said, and not just mourn their loss.
“Celebrate their lives and what they have achieved in service to our country,” he said.
Wade said he has seen an outpouring of interest and additional tributes from service members and spouses of every service branch on Fort Leonard Wood.
“We must honor these (fallen service members) for their ultimate sacrifice and remember their efforts in sustaining freedom, not just here at home but across the globe,” he said.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.
Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.
More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/mission