Thank A Soldier by Trish Lester - A Moving Song
of the Angel - Fallen hero's tribute.
(Click on an image to see plaque rendition. The plaques used on the memorial
will be etched 316 Surgical Stainless Steel. Read more here.)
Audrey Daron Lunsford
05/31/1975 – 05/23/2005
USA – National Guard
Corporal Audrey D. Lunsford was born in Sardis, Mississippi. He graduated from
South Panola High School. At the age of 20, Audrey enlisted into
the Army and was sent to Ft. Benning, Georgia for OSUT Infantry
He then attended and completed Airborne School.
Upon receiving his jump wings, PV2 Lunsford was assigned to Ft.
Bragg, NC, where he earned his Air Assault Badge. After finishing
his enlistment in the Army, Audrey Lunsford went back to Sardis,
Mississippi to serve society as a police officer. Audrey re-entered
service in January 2005. He specifically wanted to serve his
country in Iraq and asked to join a deploying unit.
He joined C-Co 1-155 IN on25 March 2005 and
quickly integrated into the unit. CPL Lunsford’s awards include
the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army
Service Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge,
Parachutist’s Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. Audrey Lunsford
is survived by his wife Evangeline Dawn Lunsford of Sardis, Mississippi
and daughter Mckalynn.
LCpl Jeromy D. West
9/21/86 - 11/25/06
USA - USMC
Jeromy West was a great kid. He loved football and baseball. He was an all league
player in both sports in high school. He loved his family and
holidays. Jeromy wanted to serve his country to make it a better
place for his family.
Jeromy joined the Marines at 17. He spent
his 19th birthday in Afghanistan and his 20th in Iraq. He was
an excellent marine who would do anything for his fellow marines.
He always did his job to the best of his ability. He was always
learning new tasks and mastering new jobs. His commanding officer
called him "Johnny on the Spot.” Jeromy could drive a Hummvee before got his license at home.
When a job needed to be done, Jeromy did it.
Jeromy loved his mother. He called almost
every day when he was stationed in Hawaii. She would always end
the call with "I love you and I miss your face.” Jeromy would take pictures on his cell phone
of his face and send them to his mother. Jeromy has a brother
in the Navy and two sisters. We all miss you Jeromy. Jeromy West
- Our Son, our brother, our Angel, our HERO!
Staff Sgt Jason R. Hendrix
10/26/76 - 02/16/05
United States - Army
Army Staff Sgt. Jason Hendrix was only 28, but he already had a big family of
‘kids’. The kids were in fact his soldiers, who he would protect
to the very end. “We were his top priority in all cases,” said
former SPC Anthony Koller.
“He was a perfectionist. He didn't want any
of us to get hurt.” The oldest of three kids, Jason's personality
was shaped early on. Mature, reserved, the caretaker - he was
strong, both mentally and physically. “He was into body building,”
Koller said. “He knew strength could give him an edge if any
of us got into trouble. If anyone ever needed him he was always
the first one to step up and help; the first to risk his life
Those traits will be remembered. “I'd like
to say that I'm sorry,” Koller added, “and I'd like to thank
his family for raising such a strong man. Where he came from
shaped him into the man he was. We all felt like family around
him.” Jason was awarded fifteen decorations in all, including
the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal,
and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.
Sgt Joshua John Kirk
07/19/1979 - 10/03/2009
United States Army
SGT Joshua J Kirk was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 61st Cav out of Ft Carson, Co.
His second deployment was May 2009 in support of Operation Enduring
Freedom, serving as Team Leader in 1st Platoon, B Troop at COP
On Oct. 3, 2009 Joshua and seven other heroes
were killed during one of the most furious battles seen in 8
years of fighting in Afghanistan. Josh's nickname was "Combat Kirk" because when a fight came, he was always running to the front to take care of
his men. His friend Blake Jones said, "I would follow that man straight to hell if he thought it was a good idea. He
would give his life for any one of us. He was a true hero."
In one of Joshua's last e-mails to the family
he said in part, "I always think the friends we lose will forever be the heroes to us. They will
forever be the best of any of us." His family couldn't agree more. Sgt Kirk earned fourteen awards and decorations,
including a Bronze Star with Combat "V", a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and an Army Commendation Medal with Valor award.
Sgt Gregory L. Wahl
08/15/73 – 05/03/04
USA – US Army
Gregory served with Texas, New York and North Carolina National Guard. In 1992,
he went active duty to Fort Drum with the 10th Mountain. He re-enlisted
shortly after 911 and was re-assigned to Veslick, Germany.
Gregory served two tours in Kosovo. In February
of 2004, he was assigned to F Troop at Camp Warhorse in Iraq.
He was a Nuclear Biological Chemical Warfare Specialist.
Gregory enjoyed his off time with his wife
Maricela and Daughter Alexis.
"Thank you Gregory Wahl, you will
not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express
my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends,
my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen
you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the
world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless
you all. A very appreciative fellow American," Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios
Sgt. WillSun M. W. Mock
12/19/1982 - 10/22/2006
Will adopted the ancient Roman warrior motto, "Strength and Honor". He not only had this tattooed on his arms, but he lived by these words. He
encouraged everyone he ate with to bless their food in case it
was your last meal.
Will loved people and defended women and children.
He was a big brother to many who lacked direction and was friends
with everyone. He wanted to make a difference and told me that
the Iraqi people were worth this war to help them achieve freedom.
Will was excited that he was a part of history being there when
they held their first election. As a leader, Will was always
in front. His men would follow him to hell and back.
Will was the sixth of seven siblings. I used
to call him my peacemaker. He was very polite and everyone remembered
him. He had a way of making you feel special. His passion was
working out, but while in Germany, he discovered salsa dancing
which won the heart of a Columbian girl. Will decided to learn
Spanish, which amused his Latino buddies who translated for him.
STRENGTH and HONOR Sgt. Mock
LCpl Thomas Paine Echols
United States-Marine Corps
Tom was born in Mt. Clemons, Michigan and lived there until 1998 when the family
moved to Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Tom met his wife, Ally in
2004 and married in 2005, high School sweethearts that started
their lives together at 19.
After joining the Marines he was assigned to 1/6 Marines at
Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. He served his first deployment
in Fallujah, Iraq from March-October 2005. It was Tom's second
deployment in Sept. 2006 to Ramadi, Iraq that led to his death
on December 4, 2006. His wife was 16 weeks pregnant with their
first child, a girl, that was born May 2007. 2 days before
his death, his last letter came saying to name her Julia Marie.
Growing up Julia will hear the stories of
the father she never met. How he was the funny guy, quick with
jokes, how he was the caring guy, always offering a shoulder
to cry on. She will hear the stories of him saving lives and
how her daddy is a true hero living an average life. Being a
Marine was more than a job, it was a way of life for Tom. He
was proud to be a Marine and planned on retiring.
Renditions by Ricardo Garcês