A Joint Base Lewis-McChord military police brigade that repeatedly sent soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 10 years finally has a home to honor the troops it lost .
The 42nd Military Police Brigade on Friday unveiled its black granite monument in Lewis-McChord’s memorial park. Its three pillars contain the names of 29 soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2011.
“Frankly, they’ve allowed the vast majority of our nation to live normal lives while they and their families live lives of service and sacrifice,” Lewis-McChord senior Army officer Lt. Gen. Robert Brown said at the dedication.
Soldiers in the military police brigade are trained to handle detainees, mentor foreign police, manage prisons and investigate crimes. Its command group most recently deployed last year to Afghanistan, where it managed the Parwan Detention Facility at Bagram Airfield.
Its former leaders, along with the Steilacoom subchapter of the Association of the United States Army, have been raising money for the memorial since 2006. They also gathered funds to fly families of 10 of the fallen soldiers to Friday’s ceremony.
“That was my only son, my baby,” Debbie Ward told Northwest News Network.
She placed a flower at the memorial. Her son, Pfc. Aaron Ward, was killed May 6, 2008, in Iraq. He was 19.
“I don’t want him forgotten,” she said.
Adam Ashton: 253-597-8646 firstname.lastname@example.org