The Big Red One held its annual Victory Park Ceremony this Wednesday morning at Fort Riley. The ceremony honors the Soldiers who have died in combat while assigned or attached to the Division.
“These men and their families have sacrificed everything for the greater good, an ideal which our country’s principles are based upon. Through their noble actions, they continue to pay forward every freedom used and known by all those who breathe,” said Maj Gen Paul Funk, commanding general of Fort Riley and 1st Infantry Division.
The ceremony also provides friends and family an opportunity to pay tribute to their loved ones.
“I think that any time you go to a memorial like this it always stirs up the feelings of loss and grief. It can be a little overwhelming, especially when you’re surrounded by so many men who knew him; but it also is very comforting because he loved the Army and he really loved his job and loved his country. I know that he was very proud to serve, and he was proud to go on those three deployments and he’d be very proud the way he died,” said Kristin Stiltz, sister of Staff Sergeant Matthew H. Stiltz, A Co, 1st Bn, 28th IN, 4th IBTC.
The 1st Infantry Division added 10 more bricks to Victory Park’s existing 541. Each brick honors a brave Soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice.
CPT Michael C. Braden – SIG Co, DHHB
SSG Zachary H. Hargrove – HHD, 84th EOD
SPC Cody O. Mossman – B Co, 1st Bn, 28th IN, 4th IBCT
SGT Erik N. May – A Co, 2nd BN, 16th IN, 4th IBCT
1LT Todd W. Lambka – D co, 1st Bn, 28th IN, 4th IBCT
PFC Jesus J. Lopez – D Co, 1st Bn, 28th IN, 4th IBCT
CPT James D. Nehl – D Co, 2nd Bn, 16th IN, 4th IBCT
SSG Matthew H. Stiltz – A Co, 1st Bn, 28th IN, 4th IBCT
Channing B. Hicks – A Co, 1st Bn, 28th IN, 4th IBCT
SGT Joseph A. Richardson – A Co, 1st Bn, 28th IN, 4th IBCT