Wall of Honor

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

About 60 people from Florida have died in Iraq since the war started. Tammy Wise's 21-year-old son Robert was killed in Iraq earlier this year. Thursday night she came to Panama City to talk about her son's life and his dedication to the military.

Everyone here has a story to tell about their experience in Iraq or the memories left behind for those who never came back. Cameron Skinner said goodbye to his wife and four-month-old daughter in February of 2003. His job: find the weapons of mass destruction left behind from Saddam Hussein's regime.

"We're all soldiers and we all train for that, so we just go out there and do our job and I think we did a very good job while we were over there," Cameron says.

Skinner was a member of the 371st Chemical Company, and while the goal was to find WMDs, he says their focus was elsewhere.

"WMD was secondary, the main thing was to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people," says Skinner.

Something he says was a success because they built schools and relationships.

Steve Bornhoft with Peoples First says the tribute is important to this community.

"We think it's appropriate in this setting to honor members of the National Guard and reservists who have spent time in Iraq serving America," says Steve. “By securing other people's freedom and liberty, we're helping to secure our own."

The Wall of Honor was first created in November of 2001 to recognize survivors of the USS Drexler off Okinawa in World War II. Now, a new bronze plaque honoring the National Guard and reservists will be unveiled after the speakers, the newest addition to the Wall of Honor.


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