Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The 1st Armored Division memorialized nearly 100 task force troops who have died in Iraq during a ceremony at Freedom Rest on Sunday.

The resort-like rest and recuperation compound in Baghdad grew still as 1st AD soldiers somberly paid respect to their fallen brothers-in-arms.

A large wooden and brass plaque bears the names of the troops at the entrance of the marble and gold-plated hallways of one of the former officers clubs for Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard.

This is the second memorial ceremony Task Force 1st AD has done at Freedom Rest. The names of about 40 troops who were killed since April, when the division’s stay in Iraq was extended, were added to the plaque listing the dead, according to Capt. Douglas W. Deucker, Task Force 1st AD spokesman.

“This gives us a chance to pay respect to those fallen soldiers ... not everyone will be going home with us,” said Pfc. Jeffrey Sweeney, a member of the personal security detail for the command of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

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