Two soldiers honored at Warriors Walk

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Two more eastern red bud trees now line Warriors Walk at Fort Stewart.

Each tree is a living tribute to a 3rd Infantry Division soldier who died while serving the U.S.

A 21-year-old private and 41-year-old captain died of non-combat related injuries, but they are honored just the same as if they had died on the battlefield.

For families struggling to cope with their recent loss, surely the mix of emotions -- sorrow and pride -- is palpable along the Warriors Walk.

Pfc. Francisco Guardado-Ramirez, of New Mexico, died on June 2 in Baghdad, Iraq. Capt. Michael Cassidy of Simpsonville, S.C., died June 17 in Mosul, Iraq.       

"I call him my gentle giant. He was a Superman to many, but he was Clark Kent to me. He was very humble, very unassuming and he was so capable and so brilliant," said Cassidy's widow, Johanna Cassidy.  

It was Johanna Cassidy's first time at Warriors' Walk. Cassidy's mother, Lisa Freeman, of Richmond Hill, also visited Warriors' Walk.

"I'm overwhelmed with pride and love and I feel the support and i'm very grateful," Johanna Cassidy said.

Johanna Cassidy, a mother of two young girls, said her strength now comes from knowing just how much he loved them.

"Everything he did was for us, first, and secondly, for this nation. So they should be proud. We miss him, but we're really proud of him," Cassidy said.

Guardado-Ramirez and Cassidy's tribute trees bring the total on the Warriors Walk to 433.

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