Military members 'Stand for Sacrifice' in honor of fallen Kansas soldiers
Event a tribute to soldiers in lead-up to Veterans Day
Posted: November 4, 2013 - 12:25pm
Back | Next
SAMANTHA FOSTER/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL
Melissa Jarboe reads the words inscribed on the back of a photo of Army Master Sgt. Bernard Deghand, of Mayetta, on Monday. Photos of 74 Kansas military members who gave their lives were placed on the glass outside Westar Energy, 800 S. Kansas Avenue, for passers-by to see.
By Samantha Foster
Army Spc. Spencer Duncan, 21, of Olathe. Army Captain Jason McMahon, 35, of Mulvane.
Those were just two of the 74 photos of military service members whose faces — many young, and all with loved ones whose time with them was too short — lined the glass Monday outside Westar Energy, 818 S. Kansas Ave.
Melissa Jarboe stood with the group of Marines, Army and Air Force personnel who were standing in honor of the fallen.
Jarboe knows many of the families of these fallen soldiers. Since the death of her husband, Staff Sgt. Jamie Jarboe, about a year after he was severely wounded by a sniper’s bullet while patrolling in the Zhari District of Afghanistan, she has actively worked to encourage the Topeka community to increase its visible support for the military.
Each photo of a Kansas soldier killed in action was attached to the glass with velcro, allowing anyone who stopped to look the opportunity to read the soldier’s name, age, hometown, and date of death.
“I just hope that when people see this, they stop and look at the photos for five minutes,” Jarboe said.
She said she hoped the community would see the soldiers standing for those who sacrificed everything and follow suit.
Five Army soldiers from Jamie Jarboe’s unit from the 1st Infantry Division stationed at Fort Riley were among those standing Monday in front of the wall of photos.
Although a cold breeze blew, Army Sgt. Calvin Smith said it wasn’t difficult to stand in honor of the fallen.
“When you take all the physical stuff out of it, it’s not hard, because you have a purpose,” Smith said, gazing at the photos. “They can’t stand here, so I have to stand for them.
“They gave their all. The least I can do is give a couple of hours of my time.”
Some motorists driving past the flags and soldiers on S. Kansas Avenue honked their horns, but foot traffic past the makeshift memorial was sparse about 11 a.m. Jarboe said someone had brought flowers to place beneath the photos.
The Stand for Sacrifice began at 9 a.m. and was set to last until 5 p.m.
The event is one of several this week that will lead up to the Topeka Veterans Day Parade. Jarboe worked to establish the parade, with the support of local veterans’ organizations, after finding Topeka didn’t have one.
Jarboe said there is no record of Topeka ever holding a Veterans Day parade. Next Monday’s parade, which Jarboe has said she hopes will be the first of many, is set for 11 a.m. Nov. 11 in downtown Topeka.
My name is Melissa Jarboe, military spouse, wounded warrior wife and war widow. Today and everyday moving forward, I will honor the sacrifice of our men and women who selflessly serve our nation.