824th honors fallen comrade - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

824th honors fallen comrade

August 24, 2007

Valdosta - lt's been nearly a year since Airman 1st Class Leebernard Chavis was killed Baghdad but many member of the 824th Security Forces Squadron felt they never had a chance to say goodbye

So Friday, 8/24 was dedicated in his honor.  "For the people who were deployed with him, we had a memorial out there but nothing as nice as this one is," says Senior Airman Kimberly Walton.

A tree was planted as a growing reminder of his sacrifice and this memorial unveiled at a training village on base.  "We are right here at the MOUT village which is urban training center for the 820th Security Force Group. Airman Chavis died in conducting urban combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and providing peace in Iraq and stability," says Major Thomas Miner, the former commander of the 824th Security Forces.

It's a village where the security forces train every day for combat operations and where Chavis' story can be passed down to each new airman.  "Its an honor that they would remember him like that. An honor! So that everybody that comes through here will know the sacrifice that he made. That he gave the ultimate sacrifice for his county," says Michael Chavis, Leebernard's father.

A reminder of the high price of freedom but one his family hopes won't deter these airmen from their mission.  "We want them to be able to have some closer on the situation and be able not to forget but to move on. Go on and do their jobs to the best of their ability," Michael adds.

They hope the airmen will carry on, for their squadron, their country, and the memory of Airman 1st Class Leebernard Chavis.

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