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16th Sustainment Brigade
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — 06.15.2009
Postal Soldiers here dedicated a new Army Post Office at East Balad to postal operations Soldiers who have fallen in the service of their nation.
Two years ago there was a bronze plaque hanging on the wall in the post office located in Baghdad, Iraq (Camp Liberty), dedicated to postal soldiers and civilians who had died in the line of duty. That post office, where the original plaque hung, was damaged beyond repair, but the original plaque was salvaged from the damaged building.
Through the efforts of Capt. Matthew Fecteau of the 4/18th Postal Platoon, 847th Human Resources Company, 16th Special Troops Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, personnel at Joint Base Balad dedicated this newly-built post office on East Balad to the fallen Soldiers and civilian contractors that gave their lives for a greater purpose.
Fecteau said that this would be a great way to honor fallen comrades and to show appreciation for their sacrifice. On the plaque are the names of postal heroes:
Spc. Darryl Dent, 21, 547th Transportation Co., D.C. Army National Guard, Washington, D.C., Aug. 26, 2003; Vernon Gaston, 45, KBR, Inc., contractor, Lampasas, Texas, Sep. 3, 2003; Spc. Jeremy Ridlen, 23, 1544th Transportation Co., Illinois Army National Guard, Moroa, Ill., Mar. 23, 2004; Spc. Charles Lamp, 23, 1544th Transportation Co., Illinois Army National Guard, Martinsville, Ill., Sep. 09, 2004; Sgt. Shawna Morrison, 26, 1544th Transportation Co., Illinois Army National Guard, Paris, Ill.,Oct. 5, 2004; Sgt. Jessica Cawvey, 21, 1544th Transportation Co., Illinois Army National Guard, Normal, Ill., Oct. 06, 2004; Pfc. Isaiah Hunt, 20, 497th Transportation Co., 1st Corps, Ft. Lewis, Wash., Green Bay, Wis., Nov. 15, 2004; Sgt. Rocky Payne, 26, 497th Transportation Co., 1st Corps, Ft. Lewis, Wash., Howell, Utah, March 16, 2005; Fred Bryant, 39, KBR, Inc., contractor, Jacksonville, Fla., Aug. 5, 2006.
These nine brave souls were sent out on numerous missions to support Soldiers throughout the Iraqi theater of operations and made the ultimate sacrifice. Whatever the price, postal operations are vital to completing missions successfully, and Soldiers depend on the mail for contact with their loved ones and for taking care of important business back home.
The new post office, located off of Pennsylvania Ave. on East Balad, will stand as a reminder of the accomplishments of not just these nine brave men and women but also the commitment of those who continue to make sure that all postal missions are successfully completed.