Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam paid tribute Friday morning to six Tennesseans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
A ceremony was held to celebrate their lives and the sacrifice these service members made.
The governor presented their surviving family members with the Honor and Remember Flag and the official state flower, which is an iris.
Some of those who were honored are service members who have been missing in action for several decades.
Those honored Friday include:
Warrant Officer One Sean W. Mullen, of Adams, was killed on June 2, 2013, by an improvised explosive device (IED) while conducting combat operations in the Nimroz Province of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 39-year old soldier was serving with Company Bravo, 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Campbell. Chief Warrant Officer-2 Anthony Deluzio served with Mullen and received the presentation on behalf of the Mullen family.
Staff Sgt. Stephen M. New, of Bartlett, was fatally shot during an attack on his unit in Kabul Province, Afghanistan on July 28, 2013, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 29-year old Memphis native was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Jackson, MS, but deployed with 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Bragg, NC. William New received the presentation on behalf of his son.
Maj. Howard Andre Jr., of Memphis, was a member of a two man flight crew on a night armed reconnaissance mission when their A-26A Invader aircraft crashed in Xiangkhoang Province, Laos during the Vietnam War on July 8, 1969. Andre's remains were unaccounted for until April 2013. The United States Air Force pilot was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Sept. 23, 2013. He was 34 years old when his plane crashed.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Lee, of Crossville, was fatally shot while on patrol on Jan. 15, 2014, in the vicinity of Wazghar Parwan Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 28-year old soldier was serving with Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group out of Fort Bragg, NC. Robert and Donna Lee received the presentation on behalf of their nephew.
Staff Sgt. Lawrence Woods, of Clarksville, was among eight service members killed in a plane crash on Oct. 24, 1964 and was the first Tennessean to be declared missing in action (MIA) leading up to the Vietnam War. Woods was serving with the 5th Special Forces Group based out of Fort Campbell. The United States Army Staff Sergeant was aboard a C-123 Provider aircraft that crashed when it was struck by enemy fire while resupplying the U.S. Special Forces camp at Bu Prang, Vietnam. Lisa Szymanski, Steven Woods and Deborah Secriskey received the presentation on behalf of their father.
Haslam declared May 23, 2014, as Gold Star Family Day and formally presented the proclamation to Gold Star Mom Joyce Mount of Franklin, TN. Warrant Officer One Judson Mount was seriously injured on Nov. 8, 2008, when his convoy vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) while traveling near Baghdad, Iraq. Mount was serving with Bravo Company, 64th Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in the United States Army. The 37-year old Memphis native endured 13 surgeries, but died on April 7, 2009, five months after the attack in Iraq.
"As we pause to remember these six brave fathers, brothers, sons and husbands, I would ask that we also remember the families they left behind," Haslam said in a prepared statement. "Although we can never repay their ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, we can honor their memories by never taking it for granted."
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Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:23 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:23:34 GMT
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