Range named after Tomahawk-area native Einar H. Ingman Jr. commemorated at Camp Casey

‘Paying tribute to fallen buffaloes’

By Staff Sgt. Effie Mahugh

CAMP CASEY, SOUTH KOREA – As the sun broke through the clouds in the early morning of Thursday, May 25, Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, “Buffaloes,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, stepped off in a battalion memorial run, some wearing blue shirts with the regiment’s crest and motto, “Truth and Courage,” printed on their backs.

Unlike usual runs, there was no cheering and no cadence calling, just the sound of shuffling boots as the Buffalo herd made its way, in silence, to the Ingman Multipurpose Small Arms Range.

The entrance to Ingman Range was lined with pairs of boots with American flags and Soldiers holding up photos of the 22 fallen Buffalo Soldiers who lost their lives during the Global War on Terrorism.

The herd approached the range and assumed a formation before the hillside which read, “Welcome to Ingman Range,” in large wooden letters.

“We remember our fallen Buffaloes during our run today,” said Capt. Troy Springer, battalion adjutant and narrator for the ceremony. “Where we will remember those from our ranks who can no longer sweat, who can no longer bleed, and who can no longer sound off, for they have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

On March 9, 2010, Wear Blue: Run to Remember was founded following the redeployment of the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division to their home station of Joint Base Lewis McChord. During that deployment, a small group of wives and battalion staff met weekly to run, creating a support network for one another during this challenging and heartbreaking deployment.

Wear Blue co-founder and current Executive Director, Lisa Hallett, lost her husband, Capt. John Hallett, when he and three other Soldiers were killed on Aug. 25, 2009, while returning from a goodwill mission in Southern Afghanistan. The Hallett children were young when John was killed – three years, one year, and only three weeks old. Unfortunately, John never met his youngest child.

A lifelong runner, Lisa turned to running and community to navigate this incredibly difficult time, and work through her grief and loss.

When the brigade returned, Lisa and fellow Army wife, Erin O’Connor, turned this small group into a nationwide organization that now helps thousands across the country heal from the devastating effects of the loss of a military loved one.

The original Wear Blue runners wore blue Buffalo PT shirts when they were running together while their spouses were deployed from 2009 to 2010. Blue shirts are now worn as a tribute to the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment.

Due to the Korea Rotational Force, this year the Buffaloes were unable to participate in the annual Wear Blue Run to Remember Memorial Day Run in DuPont, Wash.

Command Sgt. Maj. Joshua Weiss, the battalion command sergeant major, approached the podium and conducted a final roll call for each of the 22 Soldiers, to which each first sergeant replied, “Sergeant Major, they are no longer with us.”

Taps played over the speakers as the formation rendered a salute to the American flag.

A total of 10 wreaths were laid followed by a moment of silence. The wreaths represented the American Civil War, Indian Wars, War with Spain, the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Expedition, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Just Cause and the Global War on Terrorism.

The Buffalo battalion commander approached the podium next and addressed the formation and guests.

“It’s incredibly humbling to be part of today’s ceremony and an absolute honor to share a few words with all of you,” said Lt. Col. Carmen Bucci, battalion commander. “To call into focus what it means to serve, what it means to sacrifice, and what it means to remember – that freedom isn’t free.”

The final part of the ceremony was the commemoration of Ingman Range, named after Medal of Honor Recipient and Tomahawk-area native Sgt. Einar H. Ingman Jr.

“In a few moments, when we read his Medal of Honor Citation, I ask that you listen to the words, you reflect on his actions, and you ponder what you would do under such harrowing circumstances. His actions are of a true legend,” said Bucci.

Sgt. Einar Ingman’s Medal of Honor Citation reads as follows:

“On Feb. 26, 1951 near Malta-Ri, Korea – Sgt. Ingman (at the time of his actions he was only a Corporal), a member of Company E, 17th Infantry Regiment, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy.

“The two leading squads of the assault platoon of his company, while attacking a strongly fortified ridge held by the enemy, were pinned down by withering fire, and both squad leaders and several men were wounded. Cpl. Ingman assumed command, reorganized, and combined the two squads, then moved from one position to another, designating fields of fire and giving advice and encouragement to the men.

“Locating an enemy machine-gun position that was raking his men with devastating fire, he charged it alone, threw a grenade into the position, and killed the remaining crew with rifle fire. Another enemy machine gun opened fire approximately 15 yards away and inflicted additional casualties to the group and stopped the attack. When Cpl. Ingman charged the second position he was hit by grenade fragments and a hail of fire which seriously wounded him about the face and neck and knocked him to the ground.

“With incredible courage and stamina, he arose instantly and, using only his rifle, killed the entire gun crew before falling unconscious from his wounds.

“As a result of the singular action by Cpl. Ingman, the defense of the enemy was broken, his squad secured its objective, and more than 100 hostile troops abandoned their weapons and fled in disorganized retreat.

“Cpl. Ingman’s indomitable courage, extraordinary heroism, and superb leadership reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the infantry and the U.S. Army.”

The battalion command team approached the hillside and together unveiled a large wooden 17th Infantry Regiment crest.

“Today, we commemorate Sgt. Ingman’s heroism and personal sacrifice as a member of the 17th Infantry Regiment with this fitting and permanent addition to Ingman Range,” Springer said. “From this day forward, every Soldier who is ‘Welcomed’ to Ingman Range will forever realize the connection between the 17th Infantry Regiment and Sgt. Einar Ingman.”

The ceremony concluded with the playing of the 7th Infantry Division Bayonet Song and the Army Song and the herd retreated back to “Buffalo Country.”

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