Combat Control Reunion 2008, Ft. Walton Beach
The first event Saturday was the Memorial Service at the Hurlburt Air Park. CCA President Wayne Norrad welcomed the attendees and introduced the special guests. The colors were posted by a Combat Control Honor Guard and CMSgt (Ret) Julie Crutchfield sang the National Anthem. The invocation was delivered by Lt Col Mike Moore, the 1st Special Operations Wing Chaplain. The keynote speaker was Colonel Brad Thompson, 720th Special Tactics Group Commander and CCA Life Member.
The Memorial Ceremony is always an emotional event, especially those years when we unveil a new name(s), as was the case this year. But, when SSgt Shaun Meadows, who lost both of his legs only three months earlier in Afghanistan, slowly walked up with his new prosthesis, it was all anyone could do to choke back the tears.
Col Thompson finished his moving remarks by reciting a poem written especially for TSgt Jefferson. One of the somber moments was the unveiling the CCA Memorial where TSgt William Jefferson’s name was added along with the other names on the plaque that identifies our CCT KIA/MIA fallen comrades. President Norrad then read the Roll Call of all the Fallen Controllers.
The CCT POW/MIA wreaths were placed next to the Memorial by Kristy Jefferson, widow of TSgt Jefferson and Doris Maitland, sister of Andre Guillet. They were escorted by CMSgt’s Mike Ramos, CCA Vice-President, and Tim Hoye, 720th STG, Chief Enlisted Manager.
The somber ceremony continued with a twenty-one gun rifle volley and taps by the Hurlburt Field Honor Guard. The 2008 Memorial Push Up formation As in years past, next came the call from Col Thompson to “fall in” for memorial push-ups. Chief Hoye formed up both active duty and retired Controllers who joined in to pay tribute to our fallen comrades.
The Memorial Ceremony is always an emotional event, especially those years when we unveil a new name(s), as was the case this year.
Rest In Peace, My Brothers......