Airmen Shoulder Load to Honor Fallen Comrade


POPE FIELD, N.C. -- Special tactics operators from across Pope Field, N.C., took part in a six-mile walk around the flightline carrying a log dedicated to a fallen comrade March 15.

The log, carved in honor of Staff Sgt. Andrew Harvell, has an estimated weight of 1,250 pounds. Harvell's nickname "Big Andy" is carved on one side of the log and his mantra "Victory or Valhalla" is carved on the other. Harvell was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2011.   "We have prospective students carry logs and poles to promote team work, motivation and pride," said Senior Master Sgt Scott Innis, Combat Control School commandant. "After the pole was finished, the staff at Combat Control School decided that combat controllers should carry it before students. We went further and invited the 21st and 24th Special Tactics Squadrons to be involved, as Andy had been assigned to both during his brief career. We split the distance evenly around the flight line."   The journey around the flightline started and ended with the instructors from the Combat Control School and was passed to the special tactics squadrons along the route. The one rule for this trip was the log doesn't touch the ground again until it is back at the Combat Control School.   A brief ceremony honoring fallen special tactics operators concluded the event with students, instructors and current operators in attendance.

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