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Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Memorial Day Observance


Location: Richmond, VA

Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today as Virginians observe Memorial Day across the Commonwealth.

"As we observe Memorial Day with friends and family members, we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we now enjoy. This year, 40 additional heroes are recognized as Virginians who have paid that sacrifice in the ongoing war on terror with their names to be added to Virginia's Wall of Honor.

These include from the United States Army Sergeant Zainah C. Creamer -- Fairfax County; Sergeant First Class Anthony Venetz, Jr. -- Prince William County; Captain Michael W. Newton -- Newport News; Specialist Levi E. Nuncio -- Harrisonburg; Specialist Douglas J. Green -- Sterling; Staff Sergeant James R. Leep, Jr. -- Davenport; Specialist Ryan M. Lumley -- New Kent County; Private First Class Michael W. Pyron -- Hopewell; Sergeant First Class Benjamin B. Wise -- Suffolk; Brigadier General Terence J. Hildner -- Fairfax; Corporal Timothy J. Conrad, Jr. -- Roanoke; Staff Sergeant Brandon F. Eggleston -- Pearisburg; Private First Class Richard L. McNulty, III -- Chester; Captain Jesse A. Ozbat -- Prince George; from The United States Marines Corporal Lucas T. Pyeatt -- Newport News; Major Samuel M. Griffith -- Virginia Beach; Master Sergeant Travis W. Riddick -- Orange County; from the United States Airforce Major Raymond G. Estelle, II -- Yorktown; From the United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Jonas B. Kelsall -- McLean; Master Chief Petty Officer Louis J. Langlais -- Virginia Beach; Senior Chief Petty Officer Thomas A. Ratzlaff -- Hampton Roads; Senior Chief Petty Officer Robert J. Reeves -- Hampton Roads; Senior Chief Petty Officer Heath M. Robinson -- Hampton Roads; Senior Chief Petty Officer Kraig M. K. Vickers -- Virginia Beach; Chief Petty Officer Darrik C. Benson -- Hampton Roads; Chief Petty Officer Brian R. Bill -- Hampton Roads; Chief Petty Officer Christopher G. Campbell -- Virginia Beach; Chief Petty Officer John W. Faas -- Hampton Roads; Chief Petty Officer Kevin A. Houston -- Chesapeake; Chief Petty Officer Matthew D. Mason -- Hampton Roads; Chief Petty Officer Stephen M. Mills -- Hampton Roads; Chief Petty Officer Nicholas H. Null -- Hampton Roads; Chief Petty Officer Jon T. Tumilson -- Hampton Roads; Chief Petty Officer Aaron C. Vaughn -- Hampton Roads; Chief Petty Officer Jason R. Workman -- Hampton Roads; Petty Officer 1st Class Jared W. Day -- Hampton Roads; Petty Officer First Class John Douangdara -- Hampton Roads; Petty Officer 1st Class Michael J. Strange -- Hampton Roads; Petty Officer 1st Class Caleb A. Nelson -- Norfolk; from the Central Intelligence Agency Agent Jeremy J. Wise -- Virginia Beach;

In Virginia, home to so many members of the United States Armed Forces and their families, the meaning of this day takes particular significance. Today, as we remember those we have lost, please thank a service member and a veteran for their service in the defense of freedom.

Memorial Day is also a day to remember those at home in our law enforcement community who place themselves in harm's way to protect and serve. Since January 2011, seven Virginia state and local law enforcement officers have given their lives in the line of duty including: Deputy Sheriff William Stiltner and Deputy Sheriff Cameron Justus of the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department; Sergeant Morton Ford of the Alexandria Police Department; Trooper Adam Bowen of the Virginia Department of State Police; Officer Deriek Crouse of the Virginia Tech Police Department; Police Officer Specialist Timothy Brian Schock of the Chesapeake Police Department; Deputy Sherriff Michael Walizer of the Charles City County Sheriff's Department.

Seeing the sacrifices so many Virginians have made to protect us is a solemn reminder of the cost of freedom. On behalf of a grateful nation and 8 million Virginians who are able to rest under the blanket of freedom our military members, national guardsmen and law enforcement provide, I wish to personally thank the men and women who serve and their families for all of their sacrifices, and to honor the 40 Virginia military personnel and seven law enforcement officers who were honored this year for making the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for freedom. Virginia is forever grateful."

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