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Goodfellow honors fallen firefighters

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Col. Mark Damiano, 17th Training Wing Commander, and Lt. Col. Derek Ferland, 312th Training Squadron Commander, salute a wreath at the firefighter memorial here, May 3. The wreath honored Defense Department firefighters who gave their lives protecting others. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Edwards)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Col. Mark Damiano, 17th Training Wing Commander, and Lt. Col. Derek Ferland, 312th Training Squadron Commander, salute a wreath at the firefighter memorial here, May 3. The wreath honored Defense Department firefighters who gave their lives protecting others. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Edwards)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - The Base Joint Service Color Guard hold fallen Defense Department firefighters’ helmets at a firefighter memorial here, May 3. Family members of Assistant Chief Kenneth Jeffery, Naval Submarine Base New London, and Marine Cpl. Robert Weber, Jr., Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, received their fallen family member’s helmets at the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Edwards)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - The Base Joint Service Color Guard hold fallen Defense Department firefighters’ helmets at a firefighter memorial here, May 3. Family members of Assistant Chief Kenneth Jeffery, Naval Submarine Base New London, and Marine Cpl. Robert Weber, Jr., Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, received their fallen family member’s helmets at the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Edwards)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Chief Master Sgt. Albert Sisco, 312th Training Squadron superintendent, and Master Sgt. Stephen Thompson, 312th TRS instructor, unveil the fallen Defense Department firefighters’ names at a firefighter memorial here, May 3. This year, Goodfellow added seven new names to this memorial rock. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Edwards)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Chief Master Sgt. Albert Sisco, 312th Training Squadron superintendent, and Master Sgt. Stephen Thompson, 312th TRS instructor, unveil the fallen Defense Department firefighters’ names at a firefighter memorial here, May 3. This year, Goodfellow added seven new names to this memorial rock. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Edwards)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 312th Training Squadron held a memorial service for seven deceased Defense Department firefighters during a memorial here, May 3.

Lt. Col. Paul Mikael, Maj. Joseph McCormick, Maj. Ryan David and Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon, from the 145th Air Wing, lost their lives last year in the line of duty. The other three firefighters, Leo Kelly, Rock Island Arsenal Fire Department; Assistant Chief Kenneth Jeffery, Naval Submarine Base New London; and Marine Cpl. Robert Weber, Jr., Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, lost their lives in 1947, 2003 and 2004 respectfully.

"This service is held to remind you and the community these firefighters will not be forgotten," said Cathy Hedrick, National Fallen Firefighter Foundation corporate relations specialist. "As a mom of a fallen firefighter, I know that one of my biggest fears is that he would be forgotten."

During the ceremony, Chief Master Sgt. Albert Cisco, 312th Training Squadron superintendent, and Master Sgt. Stephen Thompson, 312th TRS instructor, unveiled the seven fallen firefighters' names on a rock at the site. This rock also displays other Defense Department firefighters' names who lost their lives.

"Until today these brave men were just memories in the minds of families and friends of these fallen heroes," said Tech. Sgt. John Deese, 312th TRS instructor. "Their names will be forever on display for all those to see and reflect on these outstanding military and civilian firefighters who died protecting those who defend America."

Near the ceremony's end, Jeffery's and Weber's family received their fallen relatives' helmets. The other families, who couldn't make the memorial, will have the helmets shipped to them.