In the Military
Brigade honors Schoolcraft
Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, unveiled Tuesday a commemorative memorial to Sgt. Jon M. Schoolcraft III in Baghdad. Schoolcraft was killed Jan. 18 when the vehicle he was riding in was destroyed by a homemade bomb. He was the first soldier killed in the Stryker brigade.
"This was absolutely the right thing to do," said Col. Brian Harris, Camp Taji garrison commander, in a written news release.
First Lt. Richard Pace, Schoolcraft's platoon leader, added: "It shows how much this means to the brigade and it shows how much the Army cares about the impact of one soldier. This means a lot, to the platoon, and to me."
"This is about remembering a good friend, so all future soldiers when they come here, they will see who came before them to pave the way to where they are now," said Spc. Michael Jacobs, an infantryman assigned to 1st Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment. Schoolcraft "was more than a platoon member, he was a friend. We spent lots of time together after our (duty) day was over. I'll miss Mike forever."
Lt. Col. David Davidson, the brigade's deputy commanding officer, said he wants to ensure there is a memorial in a more permanent place. "This is a dichotomy, as we want to memorialize a soldier, but we realize this is a temporary place. Camp Taji is not an enduring post, and someday, we won't be here. There has to be a plan, that someday that memorial will find its way back to Schofield Barracks, back home with the Wolfhounds."
More than 80 soldiers from the Hawaii Army National Guard's 230th Engineer Company spent about three weeks this month in San Diego to support Operation Jump Start, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program to prevent illegal crossing and drug trafficking through the California -Mexico border.
The Hawaii engineers were attached to Task Force Steel Castle -- a California National Guard engineering unit. The Maui-headquartered engineer company has a detachment on Oahu and a platoon on Molokai. The soldiers rebuilt fences, did electrical work and constructed a ditch.
The retrofitting and supporting of the fence was supervised by Spc. Richard Galo, a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard for seven years. "It took us about four days to complete our project," Galo, who is from Maui, said in a written news release. "Each day, we tried to do about 30 fence lines, which were about 300 feet a day."
1st Sgt. Michael Lacno said: "Many of the soldiers were transitioning from an infantry to an engineer unit, so a lot of these soldiers were very new to this type of job. A lot were young and inexperienced soldiers, who were willing and motivated to learn about engineering work."
"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako
, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin. He can be reached by phone at 294-4075 or by e-mail at email@example.com