BY DANIEL GARCIA AIRMAN, 375TH AIR MOBILITY WING PUBLIC AFFAIRS
SCOTT AFB – In the hallway of Scott’s Air Force Office of Special Investigation Det. 301 building are 16 illustrations of fallen servicemembers killed in the line of duty.
They hang in memoriam in what they call the “Hall of Heroes” as a reminder of their accomplishments and sacrifices, said Undre Stoker, AFOSI Det. 301 special agent.
“Every day when I arrive to the office I see their pictures on the wall, and it fills my heart to know their great accomplishments and sacrifices are forever cherished.”
Col. Robert Jakcsy, 3rd Field Investigations Region commander, said he believes these tributes to his fallen brothers and sisters-in-arms help remind all who pass by it of “why we serve.”
“Their missions were critical to keeping airfields operational and enabling our warfighters to take the fight to the enemy,” he said. “Thier service and sacrifice should never be forgotten.”
The most recent additions to the wall were six members who were killed Dec. 21, 2015 by a suicide bomber near Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
Four of the six were OSI special agents Michael A. Cinco, Chester J. McBride, Peter W. Taub and Adrianna M. Vorderbruggen. The other two were Security Forces defenders who were recognized as honorary special agents: Tech. Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm and Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa.
According to Jakcsy, the two SF defenders accompanying the special agents were part of a team known as the Tactical Security Element. TSE are small echelons of SF defenders attached to OSI detachments in hostile locations.
“These brave individuals paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving alongside special agents in Bagram, Afghanistan,” he said. “They were right there serving on the frontline with our agents, while conducting multiple missions outside the wire. They are more than deserving of the title ‘special agent.’”
Stoker added, “I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of the OSI family. Becoming an agent is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle. I know our heroes are looking down on us to carry on their legacy, and I refuse to let them down.”
The Hall of Heroes tribute is located at the public entrance to their building so visitors can see them, and the concept itself has its own legacy.
In 1998, the AFOSI directed the creation of a memorial to be displayed at the Air Force Special Investigations Academy at Andrews AFB, Md. In October 2002, the academy relocated to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga.; however, the memorial stayed at Andrews. Finally, in 2011, AFOSI HQ moved to Quantico, Va., and established the Hall of Heroes in the new facility outside its command section, where there is a permanent place of honor for OSI Fallen Heroes today. Scott’s Hall of Heroes is a replica of the AFOSI memorial.