Yesterday, Jan Scruggs, President and Founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, announced that on Memorial Day Weekend the VVMF will honor Iraq and Afghanistan veterans by reading aloud the names of the 6,785 American service men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On May 24th, Vietnam Veterans, family and friends will read the names of the 6,785 American service men and women during a ceremony on the National Mall.
Some of those names are the names of people from the Brockport area.
Among the names to be read will be Nicholas J. Reid, Jason Johnston, Bruce Kevin Clark, Philip Dykeman, Jason D. Hasenauer, Nekl B. Allen, and David Travis Friedrich. All of whom have connections to Brockport.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to designate the Brockport Post Office as the Staff Sgt. Nicholas J. Reid Post Office Building. The Senate still needs to pass the legislation.
Nicholas J. Reid was born in Brockport, and graduated from Brockport High School before enlisting in the Army in 2004.
Reid was assigned to the 53rd Ordnance Company. During his second deployment to Afghanistan, Reid was mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device on December 9, 2012.
Reid died of his wounds on December 13, 2012 at a U.S. Army hospital in Landsthul, Germany.
U.S. Army Specialist Jason Johnston may have been from Albion, in Orleans County. But his roots were in the Brockport area. His grandparents lived near Brockport, and when Jason was a toddler he lived in Hamlin.
Jason Johnston was killed in December 2009 by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan. Jason was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
Captain Bruce Kevin Clark, an Army nurse, was killed in Afghanistan in 2012. Clark was a native of Michigan, but he spent six years in Spencerport, where he was a volunteer firefighter. He graduated from SUNY Brockport.
Marine Corps Captain Philip Dykeman, of Brockport, was killed in Iraq’s Anbar Province on June 26, 2008. Dykeman was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. Dykeman graduated from RIT and he also studied Criminal Justice at SUNY Brockport.
Army PFC. Jason D. Hasenauer, 21, of Hilton, was killed near Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2005 when his Humvee rolled over because of a roadside bomb.
Staff Sgt. Nekl B. Allen, from Spencerport, was killed in Wardak Province; in Afghanistan on September 12, 2009. He was an infantryman with the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. He was a graduate of Churchville-Chili High School.
Sgt. David Travis Friedrich, 26, of Hammond, N.Y. was killed in a mortar attack on a U.S. base near the Abu Ghraib prison on the western outskirts of Baghdad in September 2003.
He was assigned to B Company of the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion a U.S. Army Reserve unit from Waterbury. Friedrich studied Criminal Justice and Chemistry at SUNY Brockport, where he was co-captain of the cross-country team his senior year.
But life goes on, and it’s up to us to honor Nicholas J. Reid, Jason Johnston, Bruce Kevin Clark, Philip Dykeman, Jason D. Hasenauer, Nekl B. Allen, and David Travis Friedrich
They made the ultimate sacrifice.
It doesn’t take much, and there are many ways to honor the American service men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This isn’t about supporting the war; it’s about supporting the families of those service men and women.
One way is to spread the word about the National Reading of the Names.
Word of mouth can work wonders.
The families and friends of those 6,785 American service men and women have earned the right to know about the National Reading of the Names.
When you’ve lost a member of your family, or lost the best friend you ever had, it hurts.
It hurts so bad it’s hard to breath.
Vietnam Veterans know that from personal experience, and they know that healing takes time; a lot of time.
Since The Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened in 1982, The VVMF has held five readings of the names of those who were killed or who are missing in Vietnam.
Hearing the name of a loved one read aloud can help tremendously with the healing process. So spread the word.
To get information on participating in the reading of the names, go to: http://www.buildthecenter.vvmf.org/signup-to-read
To make a donation in honor of our post 9/11 heroes, go to: http://www.buildthecenter.vvmf.org/post-911-heroes