Web site offers information, updates on 2nd BCT
Stars and Stripes October 29, 2004
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Officials have updated a Web site established for family members of 2nd Brigade soldiers deployed to Iraq, adding a casualty “memorial tribute” page and a commander update.
Some 3,600 soldiers of the 2nd Brigade — known as Strike Force — were deployed to Iraq from South Korea earlier this year. Because most of them were on unaccompanied tours, 2nd Infantry Division officials found it difficult to establish support systems that normally would crop up on bases with deployed soldiers.
Instead, they established a “virtual family readiness group” on the Web, at www.desertstrike.armyfrg.org.
Earlier this week, the memorial page was added, dedicated to “the fallen soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team.” The page includes a listing of the confirmed casualties from the brigade’s units, along with Marines who are operating with the brigade.
The soldiers’ dates of birth and death are listed under their photos, and a short biography appears when a computer mouse is dragged over the picture.
“We honor these soldiers daily by staying the course and remembering how they lived,” the page reads. “They will remain with us forever.”
According to the Pentagon, at least 14 2nd Brigade soldiers have died in Iraq, with 12 of those deaths listed as combat related.
The Web site also was updated with a letter from 2nd Brigade commander Col. Gary S. Patton. The letter, the second posted since Strike Force arrived, details some of 2nd Brigade’s operations and other missions.
“On the first day we arrived here in Ramadi, we launched our offensive, fighting the enemy day and night, inside the cities and across the countryside,” Patton wrote. “The terrorist enemy is evasive, cowardly and preys on the innocent Iraqi people at every opportunity. But despite this, we are making a difference.”
He also wrote about suspected insurgent arrests, ammunitions and weapons cache seizures, missions to train the new Iraqi Security Forces and aiding refugees.
“We are deeply involved in restoring necessary municipal services to a refugee camp of several thousand Iraqis, driven from their homes in nearby Fallujah,” Patton wrote.
He closed the letter by acknowledging the brigade’s casualties.
“But peace — for any nation — has a price. Some of our fellow soldiers have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Patton wrote. “These brave American fighting men gave their lives in defense of freedom. May they rest in peace.”