IWTC Monterey Sailors Attend Memorial Day Observance at the Presidio of Monterey
By YN1 Class David Lee, Information Warfare Training Command Monterey
MONTEREY, CA - Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey Sailors stood in formation alongside their Army, Air Force, Marine, and Coast Guard counterparts to pay respect to fallen service members during the Presidio of Monterey’s Memorial Day Observance May 23 at the Soldier Field, overlooking the Monterey Bay.
This year’s ceremony honored two heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice: Navy CTICS Shannon Kent, and Army SSG Alexander Conrad.
Kent, a Navy linguist-warrior and mother of two, was killed by an improvised explosive device in Manbij, Syria, during her third operational deployment with Navy SEALs. Conrad was killed by indirect fire while conducting a multi-day exercise with 800 Somali and Kenyan forces during his third deployment. Both were graduates of the Defense Language Institute (DLI).
The Memorial Day event featured a roll call observance with the command sergeant major calling upon individuals of each military branch in attendance and then finally receiving no response upon the calls for Conrad and Kent. Their names were called a second time. The symbolism of the roll call moved many to tears and cast a reverent atmosphere with only thing the flapping flags audible.
Kent and Conrad were then added to the DLI memorial plaque, which honors graduates of DLI who have been killed as a result of hostile action in the global war on terror.
The ceremony was a reminder of the importance of the holiday before the start of the long weekend. COL Gary Hausman, DLI commandant, read a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt: “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”
Said LCDR Andrew Michalowicz, IWTC Monterey’s executive officer: “Today we honored the lives of those men and women of the armed forces who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedoms. The patriotism and honors displayed today should give reassurance to all the Gold Star families in attendance that their loved ones will never be forgotten and their commitment to this great nation will carryon in everyone who serves.”
IWTC Monterey, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel, which prepares them to conduct Information Warfare (IW) across the full spectrum of military operations.