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A three day weekend

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --

Subject: SOS: A Three-Day Weekend

Memorial Day is much more than just a three-day weekend and a chance to get the year's first sunburn. It's a time to remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives for their county.  We in the 932nd Airlift Wing have some close connections to Memorial Day. . . 

Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War, in which a total of some 620,000 soldiers died between both sides. The loss of life and its effect on communities throughout the country led to several spontaneous commemorations of the dead.   In nearby Carbondale, Illinois, 219 Civil War veterans marched through town in memory of the fallen to Woodlawn Cemetery, where Union hero Major General John A. Logan delivered the principal address. The ceremony gave Carbondale its claim to the first organized, community-wide Memorial Day observance.  General Logan, the speaker at the Carbondale gathering, also was commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans. On May 5, 1868, he issued General Orders No. 11, which set aside May 30, 1868 "for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion."  The orders expressed hope that the observance would be "kept up from year to year while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades."

We in the 932 AW specifically pause to remember one of our own on Memorial Day.  Tech. Sgt. Anthony C. "Tony" Campbell, 35, of Florence, Ky., died Dec. 15, 2009, in Afghanistan from wounds suffered from the detonation of an improvised explosive device. An Air Force Reserve explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to the 932nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Sergeant Campbell was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom at the time of his death. His recovery and destruction of more than 280 pieces of ordnance and bulk explosives stymied enemy bomb makers with the disposal of more than 2,500 pounds of explosives used to make IEDs.

During a cordon and search mission in Afghanistan, the 932nd Civil Engineer Squadron member lost his life while attempting to steer his team clear of an improvised explosive device at an entry control point.  Sergeant Campbell's efforts, as well as those of his teammates were -- and are -- invaluable to the thousands of Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who continue to serve in harm's way, and we will never know how many lives he and his comrades have saved as a result of their courageous and selfless efforts over the past years.   

In our hearts, he’ll never die.  

Take time to honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day.