By Randy TisorSeptember 24, 2020

Col. Santee Vasquez, chief of staff for the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, met with the Gold Star Family of Major Christopher Galloway shortly after the Southeastern Michigan Gold Star Families Memorial Monument groundbreaking ceremony held Sept. 17 in Clinton Township.Galloway, a former assistant project manager for what was then known as the Tank-automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, located at the Detroit Arsenal, passed away in June, 2009 after two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.During the ceremony, Vasquez, one of the two keynote speakers for the outdoor event, said, “We work to support every Soldier and we share the pain of loss when one of our country’s sons or daughters is lost to enemy action. We know too well that freedom isn’t free. Today we honor those who have paid for our freedoms with their sacrifices. We honor our fallen warriors, and we honor our Gold Star Families who have endured tragic loss.”Retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient from World War II and founder of the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation also addressed the crowd of nearly twenty Gold Star Family members and their supporters via a pre-recorded presentation.The Gold Star Families monument committee raised more than $37,000 in donations during the event toward the total cost of monument construction on public grounds near the Clinton Township Administration complex. Construction of the monument is anticipated to be completed in later 2021.

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