Idaho Army National Guard pays tribute to fallen soldiers killed in Iraq

Idaho Army National Guard honors fallen soldiers
Posted at 9:00 PM, May 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 23:00:59-04

The Idaho Army National Guard is honoring it's fallen heroes during two of the state's largest deployments. 

"These remarkable soldiers lost their lives while answering our nation's call to duty in the dangerous environment of Iraq," said Retired Brigadier General Alan Gayhart of the Idaho Army National Guard.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, thirteen members of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team gave the ultimate sacrifice. During the ceremony, dog tags were laid at the Gowen Field Memorial Park as each name was read out loud. On Friday, the 116th also unveiled a new memorial inside their headquarters at Gowen Field. The memorial, depicting a battlefield cross is made up of brass shell casings. The memorial bringing the family of Army Specialist Carrie French to tears. 

"Anytime that she is remembered it just kind of clinches your heart," said Paula Hylinski Carrie's mother.

Carrie was killed during Operation Iraqi freedom in 2005. The 19-year-old Caldwell native had dreams of becoming a lawyer. While her family still misses their loved one, they know they gained a new family in the Idaho Army National Guard.

"It's humbling to know that there are people who know who your child is," said Hylinski.