Signs of Sacrifice at Sembach Air Base

Sign dedicated to Pfc. Cole W. Larsen
Col. Donna W. Martin, the provisional commander of the 18th Military Police Brigade and a native of Yorktown, Va., stands under a sign dedicated to Pfc. Cole W. Larsen, who died Nov. 13, 2004, while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The main 18th MP Bde. buildings are located on the road. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christina J. Turnipseed 18th MP Bde.) (Staff Sgt. Christina Turnipseed / U.S. Army / October 9, 2013)
From Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System

SEMBACH, Germany – The very streets of Sembach Kaserne now bear the names of fallen heroes from the 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command.

The new road signs of Sembach now tell stories of patriotism, bravery and sacrifice.

One of these stories recounts the sacrifice of soldiers who served their nation with the 527th MP Company, 709th MP Battalion.

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Sgt. Joshua Throckmorton, a native of Battle Creek, Minn.; Spc. Jordan Schumann of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; and Pfc. Preston Suter of Sandy, Utah, died July 5, 2011 when an improvised explosive device detonated on their mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle during a combat patrol in Afghanistan.
Cpl. Karen Clifton of the 554th MP Company, 709th MP Bn., a native of Lehigh Acres, Fla., died June 21, 2007, in a rocket propelled grenade explosion.

Sgt. Ashly Moyer of Emmaus, Pa., Sgt. Michael C. Peek of Chesapeake, Va., and Sgt. Brandon A. Parr of West Valley, Utah, died in March 2007 when an IED detonated near their vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq.

“These soldiers, these great Americans could always be counted on to accomplish the mission. They paid the ultimate price in the name of justice and freedom and we must remember them as men and women who were truly selfless. Because of their sacrifice, we can all hold our heads high and say, ‘These are our soldiers,’” said Lt. Col. Steven G. Yamashita, 709th MP Bn. commander and a native of Guam.

Fallen soldiers from the 95th MP Bn. are also represented on the streets of Sembach.

Staff Sgt. James R. Ide received fatal wounds from insurgent small arms fire Aug. 29, 2010 while he and his explosive search dog Daphne conducted operations with an Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) in Hyderabad, Afghanistan.

Pfc. Cole W. Larsen of the 272nd MP Company, a native of Canyon Country, Calif., died in Baghdad, Iraq, when a civilian vehicle struck his vehicle, causing a rollover.

Command Sgt. Maj. James W. Breckinridge, command sergeant major of the 95th MP Bn. and native of El Paso, Texas, sees the sign as a way to remember.

“What a fantastic way to honor our fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our nation,” Breckenridge said. “The street signs are a way for us to never forget that sacrifice.”

Each sign bears the name of a soldier who placed him or herself in harm’s way to defend freedom and protect the lives of fellow comrades, resulting in the ultimate sacrifice.

“Scripture teaches us that ‘greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends,’” said Col. Donna W. Martin, the provisional commander of the 18th MP Bde. rear detachment and a native of Yorktown, Va. “In our dedication of street signs, we remember those we have lost not only for what they fought for, but who they were: proud Americans, often far too young, guided by deep and abiding love for their families, for each other, and for this country.”

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