Soldiers Remembered At Victory Park Ceremony

FORT RILEY, Kan. (WIBW)-Ten more bricks were added to Victory Park's existing 541, each honoring a brave soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Kristen Stiltz holds the paper with her brother's name etched on it close to her heart. She remembers the day her parents called her on the phone, and she had a feeling it wouldn't be news she wanted to hear.

"You know, I knew it was coming. I already knew what they were going to say. You always hope that you are wrong, but I knew. He just never came back. He just went to the army and that was his life. He absolutely loved it, he loved being a soldier," said Stiltz, honoring SSG Matthew Stiltz.

Family and friends paid tribute to the 10 soldiers who died in combat while assigned or attached to the 1st infantry division, among them was Private First Class Jesus J. Lopez. His fellow soldiers wished they could have done something to save him.

"That was your friend, that was your comrade. You got to know them like you wanted to be there, just be there right there with him, but you had somewhere to be. You know you still had a job to do and that's probably the hardest part, you know, because in your heart you want to be right there for him and you couldn't," said Ricardo Silva.

The ceremony allowed all who attended a chance to pay their respects. Families, friends, and veterans will never forget the fallen warriors.

"It's the worst feeling in the world, but just being together that's how were going to cope with it," said Silva.

Wednesday's ceremony was part of a week of events, celebrating the Big Red One's lineage and history.


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