The 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Dedicates Gabriel Field
Posted 30 May 2010 - 06:20 PM
Last weekend the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) stationed at FT Campbell Officially Dedicated their Parade Field to SP5 James Gabriel. Many of you who saw the movie the Green Berets staring John Wayne and other great American Patriots will remember the beginning of the movie where you see a Gabriel Demonstration at FT Bragg. When 5th SFG(A) departed FT Bragg NC and moved to FT Campbell KY in 1985 the demonstration field fell into disuse, little did people visiting FT Bragg know the reason why including the Next Of Kin of SP5 James Gabriel. All that was set straight last Saturday 22 May 2010 when the filed was Officially dedicated in SP5 Gabriel's name during the units annual Gold Star Family Dedication which started in 2002 shortly after the units return from Afghanistan and has continued since then. Below are some articles for the papers:
The members of 5th Special Forces Group today officially dedicated Gabriel Field, officially making it hallowed ground at Fort Campbell.
Fifty seven trees stand on the field, used for the Green Beret's ceremonial events, but the site had never been officially deemed a memorial site, making it possible to be torn down or used for another purpose after 5th SFG built new headquarters a short distance away.
On Saturday, the unit made that impossible, dedicating the field in honor of one its fallen brothers, Spc. 5 James Gabrield, who along with Staff Sgt. Wayne Marchand, was taken captive and killed in Vietnam in April 1962.
The dedication ceremony was also held in conjunction with the annual ceremony the unit holds to remember its fallen brothers.
"We honor, we remember, we will not forget," said Col. Joel Woodward, deputy group commander.
Billie Gabriel, James Gabriel's younger sister, was in attendance along with a handful of his fellow soldiers who served alongside him. Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, U.S. Army Special Operations Command commanding general, and Maj. Gen. John Campbell, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, were also in attendance.
See this story and more in Sunday's edition of The Leaf-Chronicle.
Sister helps dedicate field for brother
The Associated Press
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Billie Gabriel never stops missing her brother, a soldier captured and killed nearly 50 years ago in Vietnam.
“The pain never goes away ... but the joy and love continues,” said Gabriel of Honolulu, Hawaii.
That love and joy prompted Gabriel to trek to Fort Campbell on Saturday for the dedication of Gabriel Field, the parade grounds of the 5th Special Forces Group at the military post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle reports that Gabriel’s brother, Spc. James Gabriel was one of four soldiers captured while on a training exercise in Vietnam in April 1962.
Gabriel and Staff Sgt. Wayne Marchand were both killed, though two men, Sgt. Francis Grimm and Sgt. George Groom, were set free. Billie Gabriel was 11 when her brother died.
Along with the field, the military post dedicated 57 trees to fallen soldiers from the group, making it a landmark at the home of the Green Berets at Fort Campbell.
Billie Gabriel sorted through correspondence the soldier wrote home between 1957 and 1962, finding a letter she hadn’t seen before. The letter, which Gabriel read Saturday, reminded his siblings to behave, mind their parents and pray for him and his team.
“I wanted to know what was in his heart — in his mind,” Gabriel said. “I could really feel his youth, and at the same time I could feel the strength of a man.”
The 5th SFG moved to Fort Campbell in 1988 from Fort Bragg, N.C. At Fort Bragg, there was a Special Forces demonstration area that was once widely used to display the abilities of the elite fighting force that is still today somewhat of a mystery.
The demonstration area eventually fell into disrepair and overgrowth after years of disuse. Billie Gabriel visited North Carolina in 1987, and saw the vegetation and overgrowth that carried her brother’s name.
“It was very disappointing for me to go home and tell my mother,” she said.
The new parade grounds, known as Gabriel Field, at Fort Campbell, is a pristine ground not far from where the 5th Special Forces Group’s headquarters is located.
“Next to accomplishing the mission, honoring our (Gold Star) families is the next important thing,” said Col. Joel Woodward, deputy group commander.
Billie Gabriel brought 56 Hawaiian leis to lay at the base of each pin oak tree, her own tribute to her brother’s brothers in arms.
Leighton Tseu, ambassador for the Royal Order of King Kamehameha I, also came to invoke Hawaiian spirits to preside over the ceremony and grounds. The Gabriels are descendants of Kamehameha’s top warriors and chiefs.
“It was very fitting to come here and honor another warrior,” she said.
Asked if she was able to gain some closure from Saturday’s dedication, Gabriel said closure is “a funny thing.”
“It’s brought more pride than closure,” she said.
I have attached an article from last Sundays paper. I have attached scans of the program. Please take a moment to read the names of the Special Operations Operators who have given their all both in training and war for our freedom and the freedom of others through out the years.
"Strength and Honor"
"De Oppresso Liber"
Posted 30 May 2010 - 08:40 PM
Posted 31 May 2010 - 07:09 PM
Awesome tribute John were you able to attend the ceremony?
Yes I did and it was very moving time for me seeing families of some of the guys we have had to lay to rest.
I hope you had a good Memorial Day.
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