It's a somber day at Fort Stewart as the Third Infantry Division honors five more soldiers at Warriors Walk. They gave their lives in the line of duty. While this is a trying time for their families and friends, they're finding some comfort, knowing their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
On a dreary Thursday morning, the drizzle of rain falls with tears. The families and friends of five Third ID soldiers watch as five new Eastern Red bud trees and five new granite markers are dedicated on Warriors Walk, serving as reminders of their loved ones' service and sacrifice.
One by one, their names are read aloud: Specialist Forrest J. Waterbury, Private First Class Joey T. Sams, Sergeant Adrian J. Lewis, Staff Sergeant Harrison Brown and Private First Class David N. Simmons.
Dave Simmons drove 900 miles to remember his only child.
"He was just a warm person, outgoing, friendly, funny," he said of the son he called, "Neil." "He would do anything for anybody."
Sergeant Adrian Lewis' widow, Amanda, and the couple's four children, including five month old Sade, came to Warriors Walk, too. The family is having a tough time.
"It was actually really, really nice of them to do this," said Amanda Lewis. "It's hard for me because to me it's like doing it all over again. Really, really hard."
Garrison Commander Colonel Todd Buchs took time to speak about each soldier. He remembered Specialist Forrest Waterbury as a highly motivated soldier who took his job very seriously. Private First Class Joey Sams, he said, was a fast learner who was a role model for younger soldiers. Sergeant Adrian Lewis was a loyal soldier who raised his comrades' morale. Staff Sergeant Harrison Brown was a devoted soldier who gave his all. Private First Class David Neil Simmons, he said, was a soldier who always put others' needs ahead of his own.
Long after this ceremony, families said they'll take the most comfort in knowing the memories of their loved ones will live on at Warriors Walk.
"He'll always be remembered in my heart and in our family," said Amanda Lewis of her husband, "but to know that he'll be remembered, even on the outside, it makes me feel really good."
"Fifty years from now, that tree's going to be here and his name is going to be at the base of it," said Simmons. "A lot of people will see it and that makes me feel good that they'll know he made that sacrifice."
Those visitors who will travel to Fort Stewart in the days, weeks, months and even years to come, will read these soldiers' names and learn of their sacrifices in a place, fittingly called, Warriors Walk.