Reservist

ISS2 2017

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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the Raid at Redoubt #10. According to Regimental records, Private Simons was present and witnessed the British surrender at Yorktown. Two generations later, when the nation was cast into a bloody civil war, four of Private Simons' grandchildren served in the U.S. Army. Among them was Sowell's 3rd Great Grandfather and 3rd Great Uncle, Private Charles W. Hazard, who both served in the 29th Connecticut Volunteers, an all "Colored" Unit in the Union Army. Late in the war, during the Siege of Petersburg, Va., the 29th Connecticut, along with the 8th U.S. Colored Troops, were involved in the offensive to dislodge Confederate forces from an entrenched position near the outskirts of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va. On October 27, 1864, at the Second Battle of Darbytown Road, the 29th assaulted an entrenched Confederate force near the Kell Farm House. There Union forces suffered an overwhelming defeat sustaining almost 1,800 casualties while inflicting only approximately 100 against their Confederate foes. Among the wounded was Sowell's Great Uncle Private Charles Hazard. He was removed from the battlefield, suffered an upper extremity amputation, and was transported to Fort Monroe Hospital, Va., where he spent his last Christmas. In January of 1965, Private Hazard died from his wounds at the age of 20. He was only one of countless soldiers whose death and internments went overlooked and unceremonious. So much so that Private Hazard's gravestone is still misspelled as "Hesard," among rows of other brave Civil War heroes. "Moving from Connecticut to Virginia in 2016, allowed me to continue my genealogical research and, with a good amount of effort, locate the grave of my Great Uncle Hazard buried in the Hampton National Cemetery. When I discovered his grave amongst a field of other soldiers who died in service, our unit here at the USCG Special Missions Training Center was moved to demonstrate our appreciation for my great uncle's sacrifice and that of so many others," stated Sowell. BMC Andrea Tole of the SMTC Detachment spoke to the occasion stating, "Something with gravity like this, that affects someone on our team, affects us all. Having a sense of self and personal history is what defines us before we each put the uniform on. (Petty Officer) Sowell was missing part of his past, and having found it, his success brought a sense of community and reverence to us all here at the SMTC-DTD. It may have been a personal endeavor to Carlos, but we each embraced it as fellow veterans and as grateful citizens to those who thanklessly went before us." The opportunity to volunteer to conduct wreath layings was first acted upon at SMTC- DTD by ME1 Jon Douglass who coordinated a group of volunteers from the unit to assist the Horton Wreath Society compose and place Christmas wreaths at the graves of American service men and women at the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, Va. Since 2008, The Horton Wreath Society has provided live wreaths for every grave site at the cemetery. SMTC-DTD, along with other military and civilian volunteers, spent over one hundred man-hours to assist in the preparation and the laying of over 7000 wreaths at the cemetery. ME1 Douglass stated," It was a great honor to do something for those who gave their lives for us. May God bless them and their families." Formal Wreath Layings were started by Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine in 1992. A 2005 photo of the gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the project received national attention. This year volunteers laid over 700,000 memorial wreaths at 1,000 locations in the United States and beyond, including ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, as well as Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites of the September 11 tragedies. This was accomplished with help from 2,047 fundraising groups, corporate contributions, and donations of trucking, shipping, and thousands of helping hands. "It would be great if every service member could find a bit of time to give back to those who came before us." stated MECS Clinton Paul of SMTC-DTD, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Combat Veteran. "It's not often that you can show support for a fellow shipmate while paying respect to an American hero." stated CWO2 Nelson Del Valle. "I am extremely honored to be part of this ceremony." Lt. Jon Berkshire, Training Officer of SMTC-DTD stated, "ME1 Sowell has shown a strong passion towards researching his family history and you could tell he was emotionally invested in not only identifying his lineage but also recognizing their accomplishments. We were proud to participate in the wreath laying ceremony, not only to support our shipmate but also to ensure the brave actions of Private Charles W. Hazard were not forgotten." Private Charles Hazard was eulogized in a gravesite speech read by Berkshire. In it he stated: "On this day, let us convey our gratitude and remember Private Charles W. Hazard, his sacrifice and his dedication to his family, his community, his tribe, and his nation. And during this holiday season, let us honor all of the courageous Americans who bravely carried our nation's flag to pass to future generations, and indeed onto us, to both bear and to defend. As President Lincoln eloquently stated in his address at Gettysburg, 'they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.' "I am extremely proud to have found my uncle's grave and to have the opportunity to demonstrate my appreciation for his sacrifice and to tell his story." Sowell stated after the ceremony. "And I am extremely proud and honored to work with such an extremely supportive and dedicated team of professionals here at SMTC." — Story by Lt. Cmdr. Brandi Graham SMTC d T d members stand at attention during a Wreath Laying Ceremony commemorating the sacrifice of fallen Union Army Soldier, Private Charles W. Hazard of the Connecticut 29th Volunteer i nfantry, at Hampton National Cemetery in Hampton, Va., on d ecember 16, 2016. Private Hazard is an ancestor of ME1 Carlos Sowell of SMTC- d T d . d eployment Training d etachment team members from left to right are as follows: YN2 Matthew Mashura, ME1 Carlos A. Sowell, ME1 Jonathan B. d ouglass, GM1 o mar K. Bayness, BMC Andrea J. Tole, MECS Clinton J. Paul, CW o 2 Nelson F. d el Valle. Photo by Lt. Jon Berkshire Issue 2 • 2017 � RESERVIST 15

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