22 New Trees on Warriors Walk - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/16/06

22 New Trees on Warriors Walk

Amid all the Saint Patrick's revelry, hundreds paused today to remember the soldiers who didn't return after a year's deployment in Iraq. Families and fellow soldiers dedicated trees at Fort Stewart's Warriors Walk, honoring those who gave their lives in freedom's cause.

The families of 22 slain soldiers gathered to dedicate their memorials. Eastern Red Bud trees line Cottrell Field. With precision, soldiers unveiled marble markers for each.

Hundreds of men and women just back from Iraq themselves gathered for the solemn ceremony. Afterward, Barbara Davis placed flowers at the base of the tree that honors her son, Spc. Jason Lucas.

"That's part of my son right there," she said. "I'm proud of him. I'm very proud of him. He had to do what he had to do."

Even with the Marne Division home more than a month now, this memorial row gets longer. But not everyone remembered there was a member of the Third Division.

"In each case we've honored those soldiers attached or assigned to us in Baghdad," said division commander Maj. General William Webster. "Even though the division is only 20,000 strong, we had 55,000 working for us through the year, so we've honored them here."

With Georgia National Guard's 48th Brigade still deployed there, Gen. Webster says soldiers lost in their service will be remembered here, too.

Fort Stewart leaders have held the monthly memorials ever since the first division casualty in 2003 when the Third Infantry led the charge into Iraq.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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