• Living Room of a house in Water's Edge

7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Celebrates Groundbreaking for Memorial Wall

7th Special Forces Group breaking ground at Memorial Wall Site

Coverage by the Northwest Florida Daily News
By KELLY HUMPHREY | 315-4443 | @Kellyhnwfdn
khumphrey@nwfdailynews.com  |  Posted Nov. 5, 2015 at 5:11 PM

EGLIN AFB — Isabella Tinsley was just 20 months old when her daddy, Army Capt. John Tinsley, was killed in action in Afghanistan on Aug. 12, 2009.  The bubbly 8-year-old Niceville resident and her mother, Emily Hoey, were in attendance Thursday morning at the groundbreaking for the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Memorial Wall.

“As we were driving here today, Isabella mentioned that … John’s name is on a lot of things,” said Hoey. “I told her that she was right, that there are a lot of people who want to remember him.”

“When people go to visit him in Virginia and leave him flowers, they send us pictures,” Isabella said matter-of-factly.

“She’s talking about Arlington National Cemetery,” Hoey explained. “I told her that it’s nice that John’s name will be on this wall, because not everyone can go to Arlington. There are a lot of people here who were friends with him … ,”

Hoey paused for a moment as she fought back tears. Isabella grabbed her mom in a bear hug.

“Sometimes it just helps to be able to touch that name,” Hoey said.

Hoey and Isabella were joined by Glenda Penton, mother of Timothy Padgett, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007, and several military and local officials at the ceremony. Col. Michael Ball, the commander of the 7th SFG (A), hearkened back to the Gettysburg Address during his remarks, promising that “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”

Hoey and Isabella were joined by Glenda Penton, mother of Timothy Padgett, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007, and several military and local officials at the ceremony. Col. Michael Ball, the commander of the 7th SFG (A), hearkened back to the Gettysburg Address during his remarks, promising that “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”

“We are all aware of the 45 men we have lost since 9/11,” he added. “And while I didn’t know all of the men whose names will be on this wall, I know one thing. They were soldiers. Special Forces soldiers. When their country called, they said, ‘I will go.’ ”

When the speeches were over, Isabella joined Hoey and other dignitaries in grabbing a shovel and tossing the first pieces of dirt for the project.

“It’s taken a while to get to this point, but we’re happy to be here,” said Niceville contractor Randy Wise, who is donating his time to oversee work on the memorial. He said construction would begin shortly after the first of the year.

He said the goal is to have everything completed by Red Empire Week in May, when the group comes together to celebrate its history and community.

“Our great community has really stepped up to the plate, donating money and services for the project,” Wise said. “It will all be built at no cost to the taxpayers.”

Jump to Gallery End Jump to Gallery Start

Categories

Events, News
Back to Top