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Fallen Signal Soldiers honored in Valhalla Hall

Fallen Signal Soldiers honored in Valhalla Hall

Story by SSG Cody Harding on 02/22/2019

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. In the Command Team hall of Company C, 21st Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 87 displays line the orange and white walls. On each display is a picture and the name of a Signal Soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving overseas. These servicemembers were posthumously awarded the Golden Order of Mercury by the Signal Corps Regimental Association.

As Company C is also known as Viking Company, Capt. Horacio Rivas, the signal company commander wanted to name the hall after Valhalla, the Norse afterlife for those who fall in battle, where they fight during the day and feast at night.

The memorial display was created by Rivas, to help remember those signal Soldiers who previously served in Viking company. He says that the hall is meant to help link his Soldiers to their past, and to remember those who came before them. Part of the remembrance process involved re-instating the Eagle’s Voice Chapter of the SCRA, which had been inactive for over a decade, last November, for Signal Soldiers on Fort Campbell to take part.

Creating the display took a concentrated effort between the unit, the SCRA, the Directorate of Public Works office and the Training Support Center to ensure that every Soldier was accounted for. Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Carvalho, a signal platoon sergeant with Charlie Company, served as the main point of contact for the project, helping to coordinate the various efforts into one place to complete the project.

“I think the impact is to show to the Soldiers who serve in Charlie Company that we’re a lot more than just our individual jobs or tasks,” Carvalho said. “Having these up is a reminder that what they do matters, and that it has a lasting impact.”

After receiving the names of the Soldiers from the SCRA, Carvalho then went through researching each one, finding a photo and their memorial dedication. Once he had the information, he created a template that could fit on a small information card for each Soldier, and sent them off to print. When the final products came back, the Training Support Center provided the backings and wall placements for the displays, helping to give each memorial a professional appearance.

A dedication ceremony for the hall took place on Feb. 13, with Charlie Company Soldiers reading off the citations and hanging them on the wall in their proper place. Finally, a memorial paving stone for the 87 Soldiers was placed at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia, marked with a plaque at the end of the hallway and is set to be unveiled there on Memorial Day, 2019.

“We have people from back to 2001, so we might not know them personally, but thanks to this we know their life, that they served, and we also honor their life and legacy,” Rivas said.

Rivas says that his next goal is to reach out with Survivor Outreach Services to contact the families of those Soldiers who earned the Order of Mercury. He hopes that by reaching them, he can assure them that the Soldiers are not forgotten, and that their sacrifices still matter to the Soldiers in his unit and to the Signal Corps.

“I hope it gives them the opportunity to know that even if their son, daughter, brother or sister isn’t around anymore,” Carvalho said. “That people still have some kind of idea of who these people are, what they’ve done, and that they carry their memory with them.”

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