Special Ops Memorial to Add 30 Names of Fallen Forces

There are close to 800 names of Special Forces killed in combat or training since 1980 on the black stone walls of the Special Operations Memorial, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa.

The Pentagon Thursday released the names of the 30 U.S. military personnel killed in the helicopter shoot-down in Afghanistan over the weekend. Those names will be added to the Special Operations Memorial located at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base.

U.S. Special Forces are known as the “Quiet Warriors.” Most of their missions and many of their losses never become public.  That’s why  Geoff Barker, a former member of the British and U.S. special forces, helped establish the Special Forces Memorial Foundation.

With private funds, the foundation built a memorial to all Special Forces killed in action or in training. After 9-11, the memorial had to be expanded to handle all the names.

A bronze statue of a Special Operations warrior stands at the ready in the center of the memorial.

The outdoor memorial has black stone walls covered with tiles that are engraved with the names of Special Forces lost starting from 1980 to the present.

Barker will soon mount 30 more engraved tiles for each of the men killed in the Chinook helo crash in Afghanistan.

“I managed to survive,” Barker said. “The least that I can do for those who have given everything for their country is to place their names there and perform this service for them.“

Barker knows many of those named on the wall. “Most of the names that I see now do not have that personal connection, but they are let’s just say part of the brotherhood.”

Each Veterans Day and Memorial Day – the Special Operations Memorial Foundation holds a ceremony where the names of the recently fallen are read.

The Special Operations Memorial was built entirely with private funds. It's black walls curve into a shape of a spear tip and the walkway teading to the memorial forms the spear's shaft.

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