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Honoring the fallen

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nichelle Anderson
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron hosted an opening ceremony for National Police Week 2019 on March 13, 2019.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as National Police Week. The week aims to pay homage to law enforcement officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

“Throughout this week, we will pay our respects to the 14 security forces members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice during Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Ulu, 379th ESFS patrolman.  

Like civilian police officers the security forces members are not insusceptible to facing tragedy in the line of duty.

“Countless Defenders have been killed in combat over the last 20 years and I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize Staff Sgt. John Self,” said Lt Col Michael Gallucci, 379th ESFS commander. “Sergeant Self was a member of the 379th ESFS and it was here, during a six month tour he volunteered to serve a consecutive tour, as a member of a Police Training and Transition Team in Baghdad. Self was killed in combat on May 14, 2007.”

According to reports, Self was killed from injuries sustained from a roadside bomb. The Department of Defense confirmed his passing on May 15, Peace Officers Memorial Day.

“We are here today to remember each individual that gave their life for their country, their state and their community,” said Sergeant Ulu.

“Since the 1st recorded death in 1791, more than 21,000 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty. This year, the names of 371 names are being added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.”

This week, Team Al Udeid will honor those killed in the line of duty by hosting a variety of events including an “Honor the Fallen 5K,” Memorial Ruck and 24-hour Memorial Vigil.