Fort Lewis is playing an increasingly central role in the Iraq war. -- So many Fort Lewis soldiers are dying that Brig. Gen. William J. Troy sent a memo to commanders and staff on Tuesday announding that "I have decided we will start holding monthly memorial services for our fallen warriors beginning in June." -- "As much as we would like to think otherwise," Gen. Troy said, "I am afraid that with the number of Soldiers we now have in harm's way, our losses will preclude us from continuing to do individual memorial ceremonies." -- Unstated in the general's memo is the more manageable impact on morale inflicted by a reduced number of memorial services. -- Gen. Troy, deputy commanding general/chief of staff, I Corps and Fort Lewis, is currently acting commanding general there; he was nominated for appointment to the grade of major general in November. -- See here for a photo of Gen. Troy....
From: Troy, William J BG MIL USA FORSCOM
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 17:20
Subject: Memorial Ceremonies
Commanders and Staff,
After considerable thought and seeking the advice of Rear Detachment Commanders, Commander's Spouses, and forward Commanders, both here at Ft Lewis and at other posts, I have decided we will start holding monthly memorial services for our fallen warriors beginning in June.
As much as we would like to think otherwise, I am afraid that with the number of Soldiers we now have in harm's way, our losses will preclude us from continuing to do individual memorial ceremonies.
I see this as a way of sharing the heavy burdens our spouses and Rear Detachments bear, while giving our fallen warriors the respect they deserve. It will also give the families of the fallen the opportunity to bond with one another, as they see others who share their grief.
I want to begin this in the latter part of June and I have asked the Corps Chaplain, COL (CH) Van Dyken, to lead the effort to get this started, please give him your support. I see the Corps Headquarters, as well as our deployed brigades and battalions, all sharing the load on this solemn duty.
Please give this plan your support. I welcome your thoughts on how best to accomplish the mission.