Fort Lewis Strykers remember their own

Fort Lewis Strykers remember their own »Play Video
FORT LEWIS, Wash. -- The members of the 5th Stryker brigade gathered on Wednesday to grieve the loss of one of their own.

Spec. Michael Dahl, 23, of California was killed by a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan.

"Not only was he a good friend, he was a great soldier and will always be missed," said Spec. Benjamin Gerdsen.

These members of the brigade's rear detachment have been to one memorial after another. The memorials have become a near-weekly occurrence with the fighting in Afghanistan taking a heavy toll.

"But how do we measure success here in Afghanistan? It's sure much easier sometimes to measure our setbacks. We have added enough memorial ceremonies to have a simple gauge of the price we're paying," said Capt. Francis Kim.

Before Tuesday's attacks on two Stryker crews, the 5th Brigade had lost 18 soldiers. Tuesday's attack added eight more to the list of casualties.

"Obviously this is very difficult for the families and all of the soldiers here at Fort Lewis and particularly for those soldiers who are deployed forward," said Chaplain Capt. Ronaldo Silva.

The chaplain says it's not hard to imagine what ran through the minds of the gathered soldier as silence fell for the traditional final roll call.

Another memorial is set for next Tuesday for Spec. Kyle Coumas.