Year after year, Kentucky Guardsmen will never forget

Ceremonies honor fallen Guardsmen each June

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Story and photos by: Staff Sgt. Fredrick Varney, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Brig. Gen. Mark R. Kraus, assistant adjutant general for the Kentucky National Guard places a wreath on Sgt. Ryan J. Montgomery's memorial June 5 during the 2011 We Will Not Forget ceremony. Montgomery died July 3, 2005, when his vehicle encountered an IED while on patrol near Baghdad, Iraq.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 24, 2011) — Once a year Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen come together to pay tribute to those individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of the Global War on Terror.

The We Will Not Forget Ceremony conducted June 4-5 at various cemeteries and memorial sites across the Commonwealth and the nation represents the Kentucky Guard’s ongoing commitment to the Families of our fallen heroes.

“It’s an honor to represent the Kentucky Guard here today,” said Spc. Russell W. Woosley, motor transport operator for the 2113th Transportation Company based in Paducah, Ky.

Assigned to driving government supply agency vehicles for the command staff, Woosely transported Brig. Gen. Mark R. Kraus, Assistant Adjutant General for the Kentucky Air National Guard and his official party to and from the memorial sites.

“Soldiers from the 2113th Transportation Company are here to support both the needs of the Guard and Families of our fallen,” said Woosley.

Maj. General Edward W. Tonini, the state adjutant general, joined with other command staff members in visiting the grave sites of 20 Kentucky Guardsmen buried in Kentucky, Arlington National Cemetery and North Carolina.

Master Sgt. Robert B. Hughes, operations sergeant for the 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery , and State Chaplain Col. David E. Graetz participate in the We Will Not Forget ceremony in honor of Staff Sgt. Delmar White June 5. White died Sept. 2, 2007, when his vehicle encountered an IED while on a convoy escort mission in Baghdad, Iraq.

Sgt. Michael R. Cepeda, heavy machine gunner for Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion 138th  Field Artillery based in Carlisle, Ky., attended the ceremony honoring Staff Sgt. Delmar White.  White was killed Sept. 2, 2007, when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device while on a convoy escort mission in Baghdad, Iraq.

A sergeant-at-arms with the Blue Knights motorcycle organization, Cepeda rode his motorcycle more than 90 miles from Grayson, Ky., to Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville, Ky., in support of friends and Family members of White.

“The Kentucky Guard does an excellent job of keeping its promise year after year by remembering our fallen Soldiers,” said Cepeda.

“I am extremely proud of all the Soldiers who work diligently behind the scenes to make all of this happen.”

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