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2/2/2012 10:00:00 PM
Fallen veterans of War on Terror remembered at exhibit
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily CourierEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University Air Force ROTC cadets Travis Gaines and Ben Jenkins admire the “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Air Force ROTC cadets Travis Gaines and Ben Jenkins admire the “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily CourierA memorial made of combat boots, an American Flag, and a rose indicates where to begin viewing the “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
A memorial made of combat boots, an American Flag, and a rose indicates where to begin viewing the “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit.
Lisa Irish
The Daily Courier

Gold Star Mother Terri Schall said looking at the faces of the men and women who gave their lives at the opening of the Remembering Our Fallen exhibit Thursday in Prescott is beyond words.

"Our son Ken, like many other men and women after 9/11, put his life on hold to join the Army," said Schall, whose son U.S. Army Sgt. Kenneth Schall, 22, of Peoria was killed in 2005 during combat in Iraq. "I know he was where he wanted to be."

The exhibit honors the more than 130 Arizonans killed during the War on Terror while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is free and open to the public at the library at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Thursday, Feb. 9.

One of the photos of U.S. Air Force Capt. Nathan Nylander, 35, of Tucson showed him surrounded by his children in front of the Grand Canyon. Nylander died in 2011 from gunfire in Afghanistan.

Andrew Enga, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, was visibly moved by the exhibit.

"It just made me remember friends I lost," Enga said.

The Northern Arizona VA Health Care System and Embry-Riddle worked together to bring the exhibit created by Bill and Evonne Williams of Patriotic Productions and sponsored by Bellevue University to Prescott.

Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall said he was struck by just how young some of the fallen soldiers are.

Nearby, a photo showed U.S. Marine Joshua E. Lucero, 19, of Tucson holding a baby boy. Lucero died during enemy action in 2004 in Iraq.

Ben Jenkins, a cadet 4th class, at Embry-Riddle and a National Guard member, said he was helping out the honor guard earlier and wanted to see the wall.

Next to a photo of U.S. Army Private Reece D. Moreno, 19, of Prescott was a handwritten card that read "My brother is with me everyday. My guardian angel watches from the heavens. My hero!"

"We encourage survivors to leave notes and items here," said Bill Thompson, director of alumni relations at Embry-Riddle.

Family members left her identification tags next to a photo of U.S. Army Private Sam W. Huff, 19, who died in 2005 when an improvised explosive device went off in Iraq.

Darlene Pope and Dan Lundberg who work with the Army ROTC on campus brought their members to the exhibit.

"The photos really show the human side and cost," Lundberg said.

Nearby, a photo showed U.S. Navy Hospitalman Robert Nathan Martens, 20, of Queen Creek, hugging a small toddler girl. Next to it was a note written by a child that read "I love you Daddy so much, Love, Riley." Martens died in 2005 in a Humvee rollover in Iraq.

"These men and women who died while defending freedom, who didn't know what would come at them next, and who did their duty anyway, in my understanding that's what a hero is," said Dr. Frank Ayers, executive vice president of Embry-Riddle's Prescott campus. "We have a son serving as an Army lieutenant. Seeing this is very moving."

Next to a photo of U.S. Navy Hospitalman Dustin Burnett, 19, of Bullhead City, who died in 2008 when an IED went off in Afghanistan was a note that read, "My Baby Boy, I miss you so very much, but am so proud of your dedication and sacrifice. Love ya Bubba."

Most veterans come home to reunions with loved ones, others bring back wounds from armed conflict, said Donna Jacobs, medical center director of the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System.

"While others return in solemn, eternal rest beneath an American flag," Jacobs said, "Let us always remember that freedom is not free."

A note next to a photo of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian S. Hobbs, 31, of Mesa who was killed in 2004 by an IED in Afghanistan summed up the exhibit.

It read, "My son Brian, who loved his Lord, country and family. He believed in what he was doing. We miss him so much and will until we met him again in Heaven."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2012
Article comment by: Come On People

I usually refrain from commenting on these. However, I felt I needed to in this situation. Please take the politics out of this. Please remember that these men & women who died were somebody's child, spouse, parent, sibling, etc. I visited this memorial today and was moved to tears. Anyone who can go see this & not be moved is completely heartless. I encourage you to go visit it today (since today is the last day) if you haven't already gone. Go read the comments left there by mothers. Go look at the pictures of the poor kids left behind that will never know their father. Go see for yourself, then come back here & read the comments again. I hope that you'll see them in a new light. That your politically charged rants seem cold & unfeeling in the face of the loss of these families.

Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2012
Article comment by: Just Saying

They died so that 4,700 American mothers and fathers can feel the same way and sympathize with 158,000 Iraq mothers and fathers.

Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2012
Article comment by: Steve Dao

Dutch, war is a last resort. Your ilk think war should be the FIRST resort to your disagreements. How have our "freedoms been preserved" by some poor mercenary being foolish enough to be placed in the wrong place for the wrong reason by people who are not willing to go there or send their twin daughters there themselves?
Our ""freedoms" have been restricted since these undeclared unconstitutional wars have been raging. Not protected as you propaganda ministers keep repeating.
BUSH and his supporters deserve every shoe thrown at them.

Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2012
Article comment by: Sal Addin

Just Saying is correct. The only reasons the US attacked Iraq was because if it did not the Israelis would have. The Scuds that hit Israel in the 1st Gulf War had to be avenged by the Pro Israel Neo Cons.
Iraq was of no national interest to the US.
The DOD report states "The region is more unstable now than before the US invasion and occupation." "The only beneficiary of the US actions has been Iran." Iran's image the region has hieghtened, the US has declined." Thanks mercenaries for your "service."

Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2012
Article comment by: dutch holland

war is a sad thing, but it is something that has been part of this world since man fell from the Garden. no one likes it, many (too many) loose their life for it. I am sorry for their families to have to endure life w/o their loved one.
but I give my gratitude and thanks for all who have served and given their life.
Freedom isnt free for anyone. it costs alot.
I thank my godsons for serving, I thank my husband and friends who served. I thank all who do this.

Posted: Friday, February 03, 2012
Article comment by: Just Saying

They died for nothing. Now Israel is going to start a war with Iran. Which means the U.S. will attack Iran. Or the U.S. will be attacked by Israel and those who support Israel.

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