ARLINGTON, Virginia (Army News Service, October 5, 2004) – A year after the dedication of a monument honoring military police Soldiers killed in combat, 22 names have been added to the roll – including, for the first time, the names of women casualties.
The names were read in a somber October 1, 2004, remembrance ceremony at the monument, which sits at the foot of a magnolia tree at the corner of McClellan and Eisenhower drives in Arlington National Cemetery. It pays tribute to 249 MPs who have lost their lives in combat since World War II.
Specialist Shelly Daniels of the 615th Military Police Company found herself reflecting on one name in particular – Private First Class Rachel Bosveld, the first woman MP killed in hostile action – as she listened to the names and watched a memorial wreath being placed in front of the monument.
“She got hit three days after I got hit, in the same compound,” said Daniels, who never met Bosveld, of the 527th Military Police Company.
Bosveld died October 26, 2003 during a mortar attack on the Abu Ghraib police station in Baghdad. Just a couple weeks earlier, she had survived an attack on her Humvee. Daniels was driving a Humvee near the police station October 23, 2003 when insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades at it. One hit behind the driver’s seat, leaving Daniels temporarily paralyzed and with a collapsed lung and nerve damage to her shoulder.
“I’ve done about as much recovering as I can do,” said Daniels, who is waiting to be released from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Colonel Peter Champagne, deputy to the provost marshal general, also found himself thinking about a particular name – Lieutenant Colonel Kim Orlando, commander of the 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Airborne Division.
Orlando was killed October 16, 2003 while trying to talk to a group of armed men, who were gathered after curfew on a road near a Karbala mosque. The men opened fire, killing Orlando and two other Soldiers, Staff Sergeant Joseph Bellavia and Corporal Sean Grilley, and wounding seven.
Champagne went through training with Orlando at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was commanding the 8th Military Police Brigade in Korea when he learned of Orlando’s death.
“He was such an outstanding officer, always leading from the front,” Champagne said. “It really hits home when you know someone personally.”
Major General Donald J. Ryder, provost marshal general of the Army, noted that the Military Police Corps is one of the most deployed and most stressed branches of the Army. Shortly before the MP memorial remembrance, Ryder participated in a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the Military Police Corps at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He also noted the one-year anniversary of the re-establishment of the Office of the Provost Marshal General during his remarks.
“Our Soldiers are performing superbly,’’ Ryder said, describing duties such as training new Iraqi forces, maintaining security, conducting patrols and investigations, operating check points. “They are heroes every day. They are inspiring and unwavering. But while we reflect on their sacrifices, we also need to reflect on their successes.”
Colonel Rodney Johnson, chief of the Military Police Corps Regiment and commandant of the Military Police School, said he thinks about Soldiers who have lost their lives every time he puts his uniform on. It’s humbling, he said.
“Their selflessness and dedication make me proud to wear this uniform,” Johnson said.
Remembrance ceremonies are necessary and appropriate, the officers said. Wreaths, plaques, and monuments are tangible ways of keeping the memories of fallen Soldiers alive, Champagne said.
“It’s our duty to do this,’’ he said. “It’s our debt for the sacrifice they’ve made.”
But the leaders also stressed that it’s important to think about them each day, not just on anniversaries.
“We should never let a single day pass without a thought or a prayer for them,” Ryder said. “Every day should be a day of remembrance.”
The 63rd anniversary of the Sept. 26, 1941 creation of the Military Police Corps Regiment was regonized
with a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns October 1. A remembrance ceremony for MPs who have died in combat
followed at the MP memorial in section 55 of Arlington National Cemetery.Pfc. Justin Nieto
A monument honoring 249 Military Police Soldiers who have died in combat since World War II sits at
the base of a magnolia tree in Arlington National Cemetery. By Pfc. Justin Nieto. October 5, 2004
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard