These are our very own young people who have given the ultimate sacrifice. While they are not only fallen from our area, this ceremony represents one of the things that is good and decent about our young people.
Gar-Field High School in Prince William County observed a moment of silence on Friday, May 22, to honor through remembrance the men and women of our armed forces who have given their lives in the defense of the freedoms enjoyed by all who live in the United States.
Gar-Field High School Marine Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets and the Gar-Field Fallen Heroes Memorial Committee, chaired by Bill Willis, retired science teacher and Vietnam veteran, placed a wreath at the Gar-Field Fallen Heroes Memorial to honor the three Gar-Field students killed in action on the battlefields in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan and the four students killed in action that graduated from Hylton and Potomac High Schools. On Saturday, May 23, Gar-Field High School Junior ROTC cadets went to Quantico National National Cemetery to place a bouquet of flowers on the grave of Sgt.David Ruhren.
The fallen servicemen are:
Medical Corpsman Richard Yates, United States Navy, class of 1965 Gar-Field HS (Vietnam);
Corporal Brian Medina, United States Marine Corps, class of 2002 Gar-Field HS (Iraq);
Sergeant David Ruhren, United States Army, class of 2002 Gar-Field HS (Iraq);
Captain Brian Letendre, United States Marine Corps, class of 1996 Potomac HS (Afghanistan);
Sergeant Leroy Alexander, United States Army, class of 1997 Hylton HS (Iraq);
Sergeant Jack Bryant, United States Army, class of 1999 Hylton HS (Iraq); and
First Lieutenant Benjamin Hall, United States Army, class of 2001 Hylton High School (Afghanistan).
Following the loss of two Gar-Field graduates in December of 2002, a Fallen Heroes Memorial was created in the school to honor all three losses from Gar-Field. Each Memorial Day during the moment of silence the school’s Junior ROTC cadets place a wreath of remembrance at this memorial and the servicemen’s names, ranks, branch of service, and year of graduation are read to the student body.