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455th AEW remembers fallen brothers and sisters

  • Published
  • By Capt. Korey Fratini
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
2015 was the deadliest year in Afghanistan for the United States Air Force. Sixteen Airmen paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to the nation protecting the freedoms our nation cherishes.

Airmen from across the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing gathered together for a remembrance ceremony on Memorial Day. They honored the lives of the 16 Airmen lost as well as all those servicemembers who have given their lives in defense of the Nation.

“They are not forgotten,” said Capt. Benjamin Swope, 455th Security Forces Squadron. “We remember their sacrifices.”

During the ceremony all 16 names of those Airmen lost in combat during 2015 were read aloud.

Capt. Matthew D. Roland, Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley, Capt. Jonathan J. Golden, Capt Jordan B. Pierson, Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Hammond, Senior Airman Quinn L. Johnson-Harris, Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain, Airman first class Kcey E. Ruiz, Maj. Phyllis J. Pelky, Master Sgt. Gregory T. Kuhse, Maj. Adrianna M. Vorderbruggen, Tech. Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa, Staff Sgt. Michael A. Cino, Staff Sgt. Chester J. Mcbride, Staff Sgt. Peter W. Taub.

This ceremony allowed the 455th AEW to come together and remember the dangers and the sacrifices made by Airmen serving in Afghanistan. For many in attendance, this was an opportunity to come together and build a sense of closure.

“There were quite a few of us who were here when many of those events occurred,” said Brigadier Gen. David Julazadeh, 455th AEW commander. “So it is a way to bring closure to what has happened and honor and never forget those Airmen who did sacrifice their lives for our country.”

Julazadeh, who has been the commander of the 455th AEW for the last year, acknowledged that these events have affected him on a personal level.

“It is pretty challenging. It is one of those things you start to think about and how it will affect you. It will be with me for the rest of my life. Some of the images will forever be there,” said Julazadeh.

As the Nation reflects and remembers those who lost their lives serving the United States this Memorial Day, the 455th AEW continues to live out their legacy.