Vice President honors seven fallen Fort Lewis soldiers

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by KING and KING5.com Staff

KING5.com

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 10 at 6:21 PM

FORT LEWIS, Wash. - Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Tuesday's memorial service at Fort Lewis for seven soldiers killed by a roadside bomb on Oct. 27 in Afghanistan.

In a unique memorial service, Biden spoke to relatives of seven Stryker Brigade members killed in Afghanistan last month.

"I'm here to honor and praise the sacrifice they made and you made," he said.

A Fort Lewis spokesperson said a sitting Vice President had never attended a Fort Lewis memorial before.

All of those killed were members of the 5th Stryker brigade that has lost more than two dozen soldiers since deploying in July.

The seven are 24-year-old Sgt. Fernando Delarosa of Alamo, Texas; 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Luis M. Gonzalez of South Ozone Park, N.Y.; 29-year-old Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Ind.; 27-year-old Sgt. Isaac B. Jackson of Plattsburg, Mo.; 24-year-old Patrick O. Williamson of Broussard, La.; 22-year-old Spc. Jared D. Stanker of Evergreen Park. Ill; and 25-year-old Pfc. Christopher I. Walz of Vancouver, Wash.

"Some day, God willing, there will be some consolation you'll find in the knowledge that your son, your husband, your brother, your father, gave his life in the pursuit of the noblest of all earthly goals, defending his family, defending his country, defending and fighting for what he believed in," said Biden.

"As a nation, as hollow as it sounds to say, we grieve with you. We don't have the sense of the profound sense of grief you're experiencing today, but we grieve with you, and we owe you. We owe you more than you can ever be repaid," he said.

A service was held last week for an eighth Fort Lewis soldier killed the same day in a separate attack, 20-year-old Pfc. Brian R. Bates of Gretna, La.

 

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