Honoring the Fallen Heroes from LaBelle

LaBelle is the hometown of many selfless and brave American heroes, some who are still with us, yet tragically some have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Two among the fallen are Staff Sergeant Christopher Strickland and Chief Warrant Officer Robert C. Hammett. These men will be honored at the LaBelle Veterans Memorial Park Fallen Heroes Benefit on July 20, 2019. This event will start with a remembrance ceremony at 9:00 a.m at the LaBelle Veteran’s Memorial Park, located at the intersection of Hwy 80 and SR 29 in the heart of LaBelle. The Fallen Heroes benefit will then continue at the LaBelle VFW, on Hwy 29, next to the LaBelle Rodeo grounds.

Christopher Strickland proudly joined the Marines at the age of 25, leaving his hometown of LaBelle, to venture out into the world. During his time in the military, Strickland reached the rank of staff sergeant, serving two tours in Iraq. Sadly, Strickland was killed by an explosion, in Afghanistan while working as an explosives technician in the 7th Engineer Support Battalion with the 1st Marine Logistics Group. He left behind a wife, 3-year-old son, his mother and two sisters. He is remembered by his friends and family as an eternally brave and determined soul, who always, took the role of sheepdog to protect the sheep and lambs, against the wolves of the world.

Chief Warrant Officer Robert Hammett Jr., was a 39 year-old LaBelle native, on the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson, CO. Hammett was killed in a bomb blast, while on his third deployment in Iraq. Hammett left behind his wife, five daughters, and his mother. Hammett is recalled as a fearless adventurer with a heart of gold by those who had the honor of knowing him.

We are so very thankful for the sacrifices made by both of these men, and all of our veterans. As Claudia Pemberton said,

“America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels.” Please attend the ceremony and benefit this Saturday, in honor of all the men and women who have served.

Danika can be reached at dhopper@newszap.com

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