Once inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Regiment a Soldier keeps that title for the rest of their life. Soldiers of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, were inducted as Distinguished Members of the Regiment in a ceremony, Friday.
Members are chosen based on their honorable service and loyalty in peace or war.
Soldiers of Strike Brigade and the Families of the fallen gathered in the brigade chapel to induct the fallen Soldiers as Distinguished Members of the Regiment.
A total of 203 Soldiers within Strike Brigade were inducted including the 39 fallen Strike Soldiers. Col. Arthur Kandarian, the brigade commander, presented the Family members of the fallen with a pin and certificate to acknowledge that Soldier’s contribution and sacrifice.
“It’s a big day,” said Kandarian. “It’s a tough day. It’s a day I hope we never forget.”
As each fallen Soldier was called, the Family was escorted forward to receive the certificate and a few words from Kandarian.
“To our [Family] members I give my heartfelt thanks to your Soldiers’ service to the 502nd,” said Kandarian. “You honor us.”
Also recognized were Soldiers throughout the Strike Brigade.
“It’s a great honor to get recognized. Our deployment was challenging and some Soldiers did some amazing work. This is a day to honor the fallen and their Family members. I’m proud to be a part of it, proud to be a part of this brigade and the 502 Regiment,” said Maj. Dan Dinicola.
As the ceremony came to an end, retired Col. John Mooneyham, the honorary colonel of the 502nd Infantry Regiment thanked the Soldiers and Families for all that they have done.
The American people are behind the Soldiers, said Mooneyham.
This is another of the small ways that Strike Brigade commemorates the dedication and sacrifice of the fallen, a way to ensure they will never be forgotten.