"A parent’s greatest fear is their child will be forgotten,” said Deborah Tainsh, who lost her son, SGT Patrick Tainsh, in 2004 while he was serving in Iraq.
The Soldier, serving as his commander’s gunner during an ambush in Iraq, was wounded early in the conflict but continued fighting. He was posthumously awarded a Bronze and Silver Star.
To preserve his memory, she submitted photographs to Survivor Outreach Services on post. SOS will open a Hall of Remembrance in its new center in December. The hall will feature framed 8-by-10 photographs of fallen service members. Family members are invited to write something — a letter, note or creative piece — that will be kept in an envelope behind the picture.
“One psychologist wrote the cruelest loss is the loss of a child. The child is supposed to bury the parent. The parent isn’t supposed to bury the child,” Tainsh said. “When we’re gone, we would still want to know Patrick’s legacy is out there, especially on a military base. We never want his Army family to forget him.”
Each picture will include a plaque with the service member’s name, rank and dates of birth and death.
The photos can be in any style the families desire — civilian clothes or uniform, graduation picture or family photograph, said Angela Holsey, SOS program manager.
The hall will “honor the fallen,” Holsey said. “Families have a place to come, a place that’s sacred and peaceful. They’re still connected to that memory. This is a place that can bring a sense of healing for survivors and they will know their Soldier is not forgotten.”
The hall will include a log book with service members’ duty stations, so visitors can easily find individuals.
“(The) Hall of Remembrance is a blessing for surviving family members,” Tainsh said. “It is going to be the place that survivors can find … comfort and safety among others who understand their grief and also have a place to know their child or spouse will always be remembered. And that is two of the most important things survivors look for.”
To submit a photo, call 706-545-4043 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.