Security Forces dedication honors fallen Airman
By Mike Joseph , JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs
/ Published January 10, 2014
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- A plaque engraved with the image of an Air Force Security Forces member killed Sept. 5 in Afghanistan was added to the Security Forces Memorial Wall in a dedication ceremony Dec., 16, 2013 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
The plaque honors Staff Sgt. Todd J. "T.J." Lobraico Jr., a New York Air National Guard member who was
killed on patrol by small-arms fire near Bagram Airfield.
Lobraico was the 10th Security Forces member to be memorialized on the wall. The plaques are located
inside Carter Hall, the Security Forces Technical Training Center, in building 10215.
"Every loss hurts and each defender is irreplaceable," said Lt. Col. Paul Quigley, 343rd TRS commander. "The memorial wall honors our brothers and sisters that have fallen in recent conflicts. It also serves as a solemn reminder about the realities of the oath our newest SF members have taken.
"We are all proud to wear the Security Forces' beret and shield, and while we salute the fallen, we remain steadfast in honoring their memory with infallible execution of our duties," Quigley added.
The fallen 22-year-old staff sergeant graduated Air Force Basic Military Training in 2008 and Security Forces technical training in 2009 at JBSA-Lackland. He was a member of the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y., and the first New York Air National Guardsman to die in a combat zone since 9/11.
"T.J. was a proud defender who was on his second deployment," said Maj. Bruno Gaita, 105th SFS Commander, at the ceremony. "Our mission is exceptionally dangerous since it is all outside the wire with direct and constant engagement with the enemy.
"Yet, despite the known and inherent dangers, T.J. and those like him voluntarily raise their right hand and willingly go into harm's way," he said. "I am filled with profound and utter sadness at the death of T.J. I am also reminded that there is sacredness in tears for they are not the mark of weakness, but of power."
The commander concluded his remarks with a quote by Army Gen. George S. Patton. "It is foolish and wrong to mourn men who died," Gaita said. "Rather we should thank God that such men lived."