Shaw AFB honors the 30,000 soldiers killed in line of duty

Shaw AFB honors the 30,000 soldiers killed in line of duty

SUMTER, SC (WIS) - 30,000 soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice were remembered during a wreath laying ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, Friday.

Of the 30,000 honored, military officials say 27,000 died in wars from the past, and another 3,000 died during our most recent wars. They say they all deserve to be recognized.

"What we say to all of them is that we will never forget," Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, Commanding General with the U.S. Army Central said.

Friday's ceremony was in memory of every military service member who gave their lives in support of our country.

Col. Joey Byrd is the Command Chaplin with the U.S. Army Central says it's an honor to serve this great country.

"That's what it's about. It's about service to our country, to the freedom," Col. Byrd said.

Freedom for which 30,000 soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice for.

While the nature of war may change over time, Lt. Gen. Garrett says one thing remains the same.

"The sacrifices that soldiers and their families make. What hasn't changed is that soldiers come back in body bags. Some of them come back with not everything that they deployed with," Lt. Gen. Garrett said.

As for the soldiers still standing, he says "everything that we do, every day, is in support of the young men and women that serve our country that choose to defend our country and accept the consequences that go along with that."

Military officials stress the importance of recognizing the sacrifice and the legacy of the men and women who never made it back from war.

"Soldiers give their lives in defense of this great country and we want to honor and remember them," Col. Byrd said.

Friday's event was just one part of an ongoing 100 days of celebration as the U.S. Army Central counts down to their centennial. They were established 100 years ago, November 7, 1918.

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