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A Marine with 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion places a dog tag on one of the military crosses dedicated to the Marines and sailors who fell during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom Dec. 7, during the opening of Fallen Hero Memorial Park. There were 25 Marines honored at the opening ceremony with battlefield crosses representing them.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ali Azimi

3rd LAR dedicate memorial to fallen brothers

14 Dec 2012 | Lance Cpl. Ali Azimi

In August of 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Within two weeks, the Marines of 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion deployed and were on the by the Aug. 16. Once the air war started, the Wolf Pack, as part of Task Force Sheppard, moved immediately up to the border. The first offensive action on the ground in Desert Storm was conducted by the Wolf Pack.

Many Marines and sailors sacrificed their lives as a result of conflicts in the Middle East. On Dec. 7, their brothers in 3rd LAR paid tribute to these fallen heroes with the official opening of Fallen Hero Memorial Park in front of Bldg. 1620.

The park commemorated the 25 fallen heroes of  the ‘Wolf Pack’ from Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The memorials within the park featured many characteristics to reflect the strength of the fallen Marines and their enduring courage.

Two large boulders with steel plaques were set symmetrically on both sides of the park. The boulders represent strength and the steel plaques determination. The left plaque was engraved with the names of the fallen brothers from Desert Storm and the right listed those from OIF. Three palm trees stood representing 3rd LAR as well as endurance and life, and finally the gravel landscaping representing the ruggedness of the Marines, said Lt. Col. Kenneth Kassner, Assistant Chief of Staff, Marine Forces Special Operations Command.

“Everyone who knows the Wolf Pack knows the battalion’s motto: ‘The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack,’” said Lt. Col. Mark H. Clingan, commanding officer, 3rd LAR. “With this motto, it’s only fitting that we take time to remember those members of the pack that are no longer.”

The opening of the memorial was distinguished with a dedication ceremony bringing together Wolf Pack Marines, past and present, and the families of the Marines who had made the ultimate sacrifice in battle. Although the park was completed more than 18 months ago, the battalion postponed the ceremony until a time when the families could attend.

The battalion formed up in their Service Bravo uniforms behind the honored guests, who were seated in chairs set directly in front of the memorial. Twenty-five battlefield crosses, representing the 25 who were lost, were aligned across the gravel.

As each name of the 25 was called, a Marine stepped out of a formation at the side of the memorial to finish the battlefield cross by hanging dog tags adorning the name of the fallen hero.

“The way we are going to honor these men is by doing events like we have here today,” said retired Col. Jeffrey A. Powers, a former wolf pack Marine. “By bringing their names up, by telling their story.”

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