Family and friends gather to remember fallen hero

Published: Feb. 20, 2011 at 12:42 AM EST|Updated: Apr. 26, 2011 at 2:54 PM EDT
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Sgt. Joseph Ford
Sgt. Joseph Ford

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Family and friends of an Indiana National guardsman killed in Iraq gathered Saturday to dedicate a display in his honor.

Sgt. Joseph Ford died back in May of 2008. On Saturday, those closest to Joe and members of his 152nd cavalry regiment gathered at the Indiana Armory to dedicate a permanent display in his honor.

"It's been almost three years now, it's been very difficult," said widow Karen Ford.

The 23-year-old Indiana National guardsman was killed when the armored security vehicle he was riding in overturned in Al Asad, Iraq. Ford was from New Albany.

"Joe was a soldiers soldier," said Sgt. Keith Auspland. Auspland served with Ford. "If you asked for a volunteer Joe was always the first one there. And you didn't have to go behind him because you knew it was going to get done right the first time."

"It's something that needed to be done because there really hasn't been any memorial put up other than a small brick at the Red Cross in Evansville," said Karen Ford. "It helps with a sense of closure."

The shadowbox will permanently hang in the auditorium at the National Guard Armory so all future soldiers can remember Joe.

"It's tangible, it's something they can reach out and touch and say this really does happen," said Auspland. "People do sacrifice and give their lives for what a lot of people in this country take for granted and the freedoms that we have."

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