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Five servicemembers laid to rest

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

ARLINGTON, Va. (Jan. 21, 2004) -- Five veterans of the war on terror were laid to rest Jan. 21 in Arlington National Cemetery.

The five military members -- four from the Air Force and one from the Army -- were aboard an MH-53M Pave Low helicopter when it crashed in Afghanistan Nov. 23 while supporting Operation Mountain Resolve, part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray presents a flag to Staff Sgt. Carrissa Walkup during a full-honor mass funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. Her husband, Staff Sgt. Thomas A. Walkup Jr., and four other military members were killed when their MH-53M Pave Low helicopter crashed Nov. 23 in Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Gangemi.

Among those laid to rest were:

• Maj. Steven Plumhoff, 33, of Neshanic Station, N.J. Major Plumhoff was assigned to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

• Army Sgt. Major Phillip R. Albert, 41, of Terryville, Conn. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

• Master Sgt. William J. Kerwood, 37, of Houston, Mo. He was assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

• Tech. Sgt. Howard A. Walters, 33, of Port Huron, Mich. He was assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

• Staff Sgt. Thomas A. Walkup Jr., 25, of Millville, N.J. He was assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

"Five brave young men who gave their lives not only (for) their country, but (for) their friends and family, to keep them free," said Chaplain (Col.) David E. Boyles about the value of their sacrifice.

Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray attended the ceremony.