Written by Sgt. Neysa Canfield
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
Fort Campbell, KY – Soldiers from 101st Special Troops Battalion “Sustainers”, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), united with Gold Star and surviving families and friends for the Fifth Annual Gamberi Memorial observance at Fort Campbell, KY, May 23rd.
The Gamberi Memorial observance is held every year to commemorate five “Sustainer” Soldiers who lost their lives during an insider attack at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Laghman Province, Afghanistan, April 16th, 2011.Similar to last year the Sustainer battalion extended the invitation to all Gold Star and surviving family members nearby.
The day began with a display of the fallen Soldiers: Sgt. 1st Class Charles Adkins, Spc. Shane Ahmed, Spc. Tommie Berry, Spc. Joseph Cemper, Cpt. Daniel W. Eggers, Spc. Dustin Feldhaus, Sgt. Richard Giordano, Sgt. Matthew Kirton, Spc. Sonny Moses, Spc. Brandon Mullins, Cpl. Kenneth Necochea, Staff Sgt. Kenneth Necochea, Staff Sgt. James Patton, Sgt. Linda Pierre, Sgt. Louie Ramos, Staff Sgt. Cynthia Taylor, 1st Sgt. Raymond Tonkin, Staff Sgt. Steven Tudor, Spc. Clinton Upchurch.
Soldiers stood in formation as Lt. Col. Alex Gallegos, commander for 101st STB, introduced the family members.
Family members and Soldiers in the battalion conducted a one-mile esprit de corps run in honor of the fallen Soldiers, with surviving family members leading the formation. Soldiers called cadence and held the colors high as they ran down Airborne Street near the brigade headquarters.
After the run, family members moved to the battalion’s classroom to enjoy a delicious breakfast provided by the 101st Abn. Div. Sust. Bde. dining facility. As the families enjoyed their meal the 101st Abn. Div. band played a variety of jazz songs.
Cyndy Clark, a surviving family member said this was her second year attending the Gamberi Memorial observance and she plans to continue attending. She added that the battalion not only makes her and the other family members feel like royalty but like family as well.
The Sustainer battalion had help from the 101st Airborne Divison Association by hosting a Golf Scramble in celebration of the Gamberi Memorial observance. The golf scramble was open to any Soldiers or civilians on Fort Campbell, KY.
The scramble began at 1:00pm at Cole Park on Fort Campbell, KY. The proceedings of the scramble were donated to the Fort Campbell’s Survivor Outreach Services.
At the end of the day, a check of two thousand four hundred and eight one dollars with thirty-eight cents was given to a Place for Peace. A Place for peace plans include a play area, pavilion, and a walking trail with encouraging and inspirational words for all Gold Star families.
“There will always be a family member missing in our lives, but by having a place like this where we all share a common bond we can share our moments with each other,” said Sheila Patton, a Gold Star mother and originator of Place for Peace. “I believe this is a start to wonderful thing for our surviving family members.