A General Honors Fallen Soldiers

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On Saturday's program, host Rachel Martin talked with Maj. Gen. John Campbell, who's just back from being the top U.S. commander in eastern Afghanistan. For Memorial Day, Campbell talks about how he honors the troops who lost their lives in Afghanistan: He keeps their stories on index cards, which he carries with him at all times.


On yesterday's show, we heard from Major General John Campbell, just home from leading U.S. forces in Eastern Afghanistan. He was in Washington to take part in several Memorial Day events. Campbell told us of his own tribute.

Every day, on the battlefield and off, he carries with him a set of three-by-five index cards, each with a name, photo and story about a soldier who died under his command.

Major General JOHN CAMPBELL: You know, I carry those around so I never forget their sacrifice, never forget the sacrifice of their families. I spent all day at Walter Reed talking to wounded warriors, making sure they understood that, you know, we want them to get better, they're working very hard to get better. It was very, very uplifting to talk to all of them.

And I pulled out those cards, and we talked about some of their buddies that, you know, that didn't make it back. And, you know, they want to honor their lives. They want to make sure they did not die in vain. And every one of those has been very, very tough. Every one of those has been very tragic. Every one of those has changed the lives of many, many people around each of those fallen heroes.

I'm so very, very proud to have the opportunity to serve with the young men and women who, you know, volunteer to put themselves in harm's way. And over this Memorial Day, we can never, ever forget their sacrifice. We can never, ever forget the sacrifice of the families that have paid the ultimate sacrifice here. And it was just my honor to serve with many of them in Afghanistan.

MARTIN: U.S. Army Major General John Campbell.

(Soundbite of music)

MARTIN: You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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