The Indiana Army National Guard paid tribute to seven Guardsmen during a recognition ceremony in Valparaiso, IN, November 3, 2013, with family members and friends of fallen soldiers.
“Today’s ceremony is great; while I have attended individual ceremonies for most of them, we get to put all of them to rest in our armory today,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Leonard, former platoon sergeant in the 713th Engineer Company.
Individually designed shadow boxes for each soldier were unveiled at Valparaiso University. Each display contained an American flag, military service ribbons and medals, as well as a photograph of the service member. The displays were permanently mounted in the Valparaiso Army National Guard Armory following the ceremony.
Major Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard, addressed the families and friends of the fallen soldiers by recounting past memorial services. “Today is all about the memory of each of our soldiers.” Umbarger then reflected upon personal experiences he had with each of the fallen. “They were all heroes in every sense of the word.”
•Spc. Sergio Perez Jr. and Spc. Nicholas Taylor died from a direct fire ambush, July 2012 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
•Staff Sergeant Jonathan Metzger, Sgt. Brian Leonhardt, Spc. Christopher Patterson and Spc. Robert Tauteris died as a result of a roadside bomb, January 2012 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
•Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Chavez died July 2008 from an illness contracted stateside at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., during specialized combat engineer leader training.