As death toll rises, Ft. Lewis soldiers honored

As death toll rises, Ft. Lewis soldiers honored »Play Video
Two fallen soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade are honored at a Thursday ceremony.
FORT LEWIS, Wash. - The war in Afghanistan is really taking its toll on Fort Lewis, specifically the 5th Stryker Brigade, which gathered again at the North Fort Chapel to remember two fallen soldiers.

 Lt. David Wright
The two soldiers, 1st Lt. David Wright and Sgt. Andrew McConnell, were honored in a moving ceremony Thursday morning.

Wright, 26, was a track star at the University of Oklahoma before joining the Army. He gave his life in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb detonated, killing him and McConnell.

McConnell, 24, was buried this week at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent. He leaves behind wife, Sarah, who's expecting their child.

Staff Sgt. Philip McIlroy remembered McConnell at Thursday's ceremony.

 Sgt. Andrew McConnell
"Mac was a son to be proud of, a husband to be loved, a father to look up to - a future pilot that the blue sky will not have the privilege of his company," he said.

Staff Sgt. Robin Johnson shared his memories of 1st Lt. Wright.

"Not only has the Army lost a great officer, Bravo Company a great platoon leader, second platoon a great mentor, but for myself and many others a great friend," he said.

This now makes 11 soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade now killed in combat in Afghanistan - and the unit just got there in July.

Two other soldiers - members of the 3rd Stryker Brigade - were honored in a second ceremony.

Spec. Jordan Shay and Staff Sgt. Todd Selge died on Sept. 3 when their vehicle rolled over in Iraq.