21st TSC remembers fallen, honors service

by Angelika Lantz
21st TSC Public Affairs

Remembering fallen heroes and military families figured prominently into the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s wreath laying, retirement and honorary awards ceremony May 31 at separate locations in Kaiserslautern.

At the 21st TSC memorial site on Panzer Kaserne, the command unveiled the name of Sgt. Paul Rivera, 527th Military Police Company, 709th MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, and paid tribute to all 31 fallen heroes.

Rivera died Oct. 22, 2011, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered in a vehicle rollover during an attack by enemy forces.

Maj. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee, commanding general of the 21st TSC, quoted former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates when he said Memorial Day is a day to also remember military families at the retirement and awards  ceremonies, which were held in the Kleber Physical Fitness Center gymnasium on Kleber Kaserne.

“A day where we must also honor the sacrifices of military family members, who in recent years have borne the brunt of repeated deployments, long partings and the fear of receiving the knock on the door with the worst of all possible news,” Piggee said.

Col. Mark Oswald, the staff judge advocate for the 21st TSC’s 7th Civil Support Command, retired after serving on active duty and in reserve capacities for 33 years. He has been serving as a Department of State foreign service officer and vice consultant at the Embassy in New Delhi, India, for the past five months.

“This assignment really puts the ‘foreign’ in foreign service, and I have to say my hat is off to my family and to every other military family. They serve, too. They deal with all the separations and unrest, the moves, everything — and they continue to support our Soldiers,” Oswald said.  

Sgt. 1st Class Wiley Robinson retired after more than 22 years of service. His last assignment was with the 21st TSC’s 405th Army Field Support Brigade, where he served as a master resilience trainer facilitator.

Also a family man, Robinson used the ceremony to make an official pledge of commitment, complete with certificates to his wife Viola and his daughters Akylah and Amani.

Jennifer J. Beckwith, Ph.D., principal of Kaiserslautern High School, has devoted her entire career to serving military families through the Department of Defense Education Activity Schools. 

She was honored for her commitment and involvement in the education and well-being of children in the community. After having served in Holland, the U.K., Norway, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Bahrain, she is on her way to Japan.

Col. Joseph Tirone received the Legion of Merit for his performance as the 21st TSC’s support operations chief for the past two years. His wife Paige was honored for her involvement in and volunteer work for a number of organizations and causes, including the Red Cross, the Kaiserslautern Landstuhl Spouses Association and the Fisher House.

After four tours in Germany, the family is returning to the states. 

“Our oldest son and his wife are expecting their second child, and our middle son will attend the University of Kentucky, so it will be great to be in the U.S.,” Tirone said.