Fallen soldier honored at Fort Stewart's Warriors Walk
By BRITTINI RAY | Savannah Morning News, Ga. | Published: February 7, 2019
(Tribune News Service) — It's been seven months since Cpl. Joseph Maciel was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Family, friends and fellow soldiers remember the infantryman assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, as a hardworking soldier "with a lot of heart," and one who "never turned down the opportunity to go above and beyond."
And now Maciel has a place on Fort Stewart's Warriors Walk, along with 468 other 3rd Infantry Division soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Tuesday, a moment of silence fell over Fort Stewart's Cottrell Field as leaders dedicated a tree on Warriors Walk to the fallen soldier. The white-blooming Crape Myrtle trees planted, one for each soldier, on Warriors Walk serve as a living monument to our soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
"Cpl. Maciel was an excellent soldier, beloved by his teammates and dedicated to our mission. He will be greatly missed by the entire Black Lion family. Our prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time," said Lt. Col. David Conner, Maciel's battalion commander.
Maciel, of South Gate, Calif., died from wounds sustained during an apparent insider attack on July 7, 2018, according to the Department of Defense. He was deployed in support of the 1st Security Assistance Brigade.
Maciel served in the Army for two years and his first assignment was Fort Benning.
"Warriors Walk represents our solid commitment to remember and honor those dog-faced soldiers who have given their last full measure of devotion in defense of this nation," said Maj. Gen. Lee Quintas, commanding general of the 3rd ID. "In my view, Warriors Walk is our Army's finest tribute for our fallen. First, because Warriors Walk is a living tribute to our fallen, and second, because it plays a central role in nearly every major event at the 3rd Infantry Division ... Warriors Walk is deliberately positioned adjacent to the busiest intersection on Fort Stewart, where thousands of troops pass by every day and night."
Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Florio, Maciel's platoon sergeant, said the soldier was always willing to go the extra mile.
"What made him such a good soldier is that he was always willing to try," he said. "He was motivated. He had a lot of heart. And he never turned down the opportunity – in whatever he was told to do – to go above and beyond."
Maciel's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
"He was one of those guys that never quit," said Staff Sgt. Eddie Negron, Maciel's squad leader. "He had a big heart ... He was always trying to be better."
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