BusinessWoodbridge enterprise helps to honor 7,000 fallen heroes

Woodbridge enterprise helps to honor 7,000 fallen heroes

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The group Veterans and Athletes United used 7,000 engraved canine tags to create its Fallen Heroes Memorial, now on the Nationwide Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia.

This text was written by WTOP’s information companion InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Join InsideNoVa.com’s free e-mail subscription at the moment.

Guests pause on the VAU Fallen Heroes Memorial briefly on show in entrance of the Nationwide Museum of the Marine Corps, Nov. 10. The flag accommodates the names of greater than 7,000 killed in motion in the course of the World Struggle on Terror. (Courtesy InsideNova/Paul Lara)

Greg Frye, proprietor of One Cease Awards and Attire in Woodbridge, nonetheless remembers the telephone name.

The potential buyer needed pricing for a particular venture: engraving 7,000 canine tags.

James Howard of Richmond had been reaching out nationwide, however nobody was budging a lot on their costs. Howard defined to Frye that every canine tag would title a fallen warrior within the World Struggle on Terror for a brand new memorial Howard was in control of creating.

“I’d be honored,” Frye remembers telling him.

Frye acquired baggage and baggage of blue, silver and pink canine tags. It took about two minutes for his engraving machine to doc every tag with what had been left behind: final title, first title, rank, department and the date the service member was killed in motion, together with an preliminary figuring out the marketing campaign, corresponding to Operation Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom.

Together with his solely engraving machine, Frye mentioned he, his daughter, Sharon, and her good friend took turns holding the engraver operating nonstop by greater than two months of eight- to 10-hour days to create the wall of names, which was accomplished in 2018.

“Behind every tag is a narrative, and as I engraved the tag, I might take a look at the title and date, then marvel what’s the story behind that one piece of metallic,” Frye mentioned within the workspace behind his trophy store showroom, the place he engraves and laser-etches objects for corporations all through the area. “The memorial permits us a technique to deliver that collectively, and a possibility to let folks inform a few of their tales.”

For the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps on Nov. 10, Howard’s group, Veterans and Athletes United, introduced its Fallen Heroes Memorial from Richmond to the Nationwide Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle.

The 7,000 blue, pink and chrome canine tags sparkled within the Virginia solar behind 50 gold stars. At almost 30 ft extensive, this wall of names is simply 6 ft excessive, symbolizing the form of the American flag when draped on a fallen service member’s casket.

Finding out the names up shut, with the museum’s personal symbolic flagpole thrusting into the blue sky, Tony Compo, a grasp gunnery sergeant who lives in Triangle, mentioned it’s a robust tribute to the fallen.

“This memorial is nice – it places it on the market so no one forgets. I like that it’s entrance and heart out right here in entrance of the Marine museum,” Compo mentioned. “It’s the very first thing you see while you stroll into the museum, which is already phenomenal, so that is nice.”

Howard is a veteran who medically retired after an improvised explosive gadget and a firefight left him a quadriplegic, and he needed to finish his mission.

“I really feel that I failed early and let my brothers down, so I’m attempting to fill that void and serve in one other means,” Howard informed InsideNoVa after returning to his Richmond house after his group displayed the memorial on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Veterans Day.

“I used to be lucky sufficient to have many individuals round me to make this attainable,” Howard mentioned. And Frye is on the prime of the record. “Of all the businesses I went to nationwide, he actually stood out. Lots of people tried to earn cash off this venture, however not Greg.”

Howard’s group accepts donations, and the funds raised go to a few excellent Blue Star Households organizations, in addition to the Nationwide World Struggle on Terror Memorial Basis, which has a mission to construct a everlasting memorial on the Nationwide Mall.

And whereas U.S. troops are not in Afghanistan, the influence of the struggle on terror remains to be being felt.

Final month, Howard known as Frye again as a result of he wanted extra canine tags so as to add to the wall. Throughout a small ceremony on his Richmond property, the place he additionally conducts wounded warrior workshops, the group added 13 names from the Aug. 29 assault in Kabul, together with the names of 10 others slain abroad.

“I’ve a number of buddies on that flag,” Howard mentioned softly. “This helps remind us all the worth of freedom and I’m blessed to have so many good folks round me that made it attainable.”



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