96th Transportation Company Dedicates Memorial To Fallen Comrades

Story by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th SC(E) Public Affairs

Soldiers of the 96th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 64th Corps Support Group, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), honored two fallen comrades in a ceremony at the 96th Company area here Monday by unveiling a memorial dedicated to their sacrifice.

The two Soldiers memorialized are Staff Sgt. Donald Farmer and Sgt. Barry Meza, both drivers with the 96th, who were struck by a vehicle December 19, 2004, while assessing a broken-down vehicle in Kuwait.

"(Farmer and Meza) were not killed in battle, but they were killed in noble service," said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Terry, Commanding General of the SC(E), "Their sacrifice is almost more painful because of the circumstance."

Since the onset of the Global War on Terrorism, the 96th has deployed four times.

Terry continued, "No company has stepped into the breach more than the 96th Transportation Company."

Because of this constant deployment rotation, Soldiers often cycle in and out of the 96th faster than most units.

"Most of our company is new (personnel)," said Spc. Christy E. Kirkland, a driver with the 96th. "So they didn't get a chance to know (Farmer and Meza)."

Kirkland continued, "But we talk about (Farmer and Meza) all the time. Their sacrifice will help current and future Soldiers of the 96th because their accident has caused us to institute more safety measures and take extra precautions when faced with similar situations."

Kirkland added that Soldiers of the 96th came up with the idea for the memorial.

Terry said, "It is not in the nature of the 96th Transportation Company to wait for someone else to accomplish the mission…

"Today, you dedicate a small emblem to the service of Don Farmer and Barry Meza, and, by extension, to all the Soldiers of the 96th Transportation Company and all the Soldiers in our Army."

Terry concluded, "Memorials are for the living, reminders that men and women died so that others might be free. Staff Sgt. Farmer and Sgt. Meza represent the greatest our nation has to offer. They represent you and me and everyone who dons a Soldier's uniform. They represent the citizens of our great land.

"The greatest tribute all of us can offer to them is to complete our mission."

 

fallen Soldiers memorial
Soldiers of the 96th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) dedicate a memorial honoring two fallen Soldiers of the 96th. The memorial honors Staff Sgt. Donald Farmer and Sgt. Barry Meza, two drivers with the 96th who were killed December 19, 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Photo by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs

unveiling the memorial
Soldiers of the 96th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) unveil a memorial honoring two fallen Soldiers of the 96th. The memorial honors Staff Sgt. Donald Farmer and Sgt. Barry Meza, two drivers with the 96th who were killed December 19, 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Photo by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th SC(E) PAO