SAN DIEGO: Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Battalion, State Military Police, California State Military Reserve, paid honor to a fallen fellow soldier on 24 May when they posted a Pre-Memorial Day honor guard and laid a wreath at the grave site of Army Capt. Jennifer Moreno, an Army nurse killed last year while serving with a Ranger unit in Afghanistan.
The wreath laying ceremony took place at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego where Moreno is interred. Nine soldiers from the 2/2 took part in the vigil.
San Diego native Moreno was a 26-year-old airborne-qualified nurse assigned to a Special Operations Cultural Team. She was killed on 6 October while attempting to rescue injured Rangers following an ambush in which 11 suicide bombs and improvised explosive devices were detonated. Twenty-five soldiers were wounded and four were killed in the battle, including Moreno.
The Army reported the two-hour firefight stymied a plot to detonate suicide bombs among Afghan civilians.
Moreno was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with a V for valor for her actions that day.
“The 2/2 SMP BN provided funeral detail support the night prior to her burial,” said Capt. (CA) Rene Tangonan, 2/2 operations officer. “We wanted to execute a similar Pre-Memorial day honor detail for Moreno and a wreath laying at her grave site.”
Enlisted soldiers of the 2/2 posted an honor guard vigil at Moreno’s grave site at 0700 hours and maintained it until 1000 hours, at which time Tangonan and Maj. (CA) William Chidsey, 2/2 commander, laid the wreath.
“The intent is to make this a 2/2 SMP BN memorial weekend tradition,” said Chidsey.
The vigil and wreath laying received extensive coverage by the local news media, including multiple photographs appearing in the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper and its web site.
by Maj. (CA) Martin Hill