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S.C. National Guard honors fallen Va. soldier with Caroline ties

April 19, 2011



By Maj. Cindi King, S.C. National Guard Public Affairs

Julie Skinner, of Ruther Glen, VA, unveils the plaque dedicating a conference room in honor of her daughter, Specialist Chrystal Stout a S.C. Army National Guard Soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. Photo by MAJ Cindi King, S.C. Army National Guard Public Affairs.

Columbia, S.C. – The S.C. Army National Guard held a special ceremony April 18 to dedicate a conference room in honor of Specialist Chrystal G. Stout, a Soldier who was killed while

supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Stout was from Galax, Virginia.

The conference room is located in a National Guard Armory in Columbia, S.C. near the Headquarters for the S.C.

Army National Guard.

Stout served as an Information Systems Operator in the 228th Signal Brigade in the S.C. Army National Guard. She was one of 18 who perished when a U.S. military CH-47D Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on April 6, 2005.

She is remembered as being a positive and happy, young professional with a strong commitment to service. The conference room is used mainly used by Guard leadership for Recruiting and Retention efforts.

Stout was selected to have the conference room named in her honor as she isthe only female and the youngest Soldier killed from the S.C. Army National Guard in support of

Operation Enduring Freedom.

“Specialist Stout embodies all we are about in the National Guard and our recruiting efforts,” said Warrant Officer Pamela Blanchard, a Guard recruiter. “She was young, energetic and a college student. It is very fitting to honor and remember her.”

During the ceremony, a plaque was unveiled officially naming the room and a moment of

silence followed. Pictures flashed on a screen in the room showing Stout, dressed in combat

gear, toting her rifle, the harsh desert in the background, but Stout always having a cheerful

smile surrounded by fellow Soldiers.

“We didn’t want her memory to fade away,” said Lt. Col. Clarence Bowser, Commander of

Recruiting and Retention. “She embodied the principles of dedication, pride, and loyalty that is

the S.C. Army National Guard.”

Attendees included Stout’s mother, Julia Skinner and step-father Frank Skinner from Ruther Glen, Virginia.

They were presented the Gold Order of Mercury Award for Stout. This award is a prestigious award from the Signal Corps to honor any Signal Soldier who died while deployed.

“Chrystal was admired by all who served with her,” said Bowser. “We’re military and we don’t

often use our first names. But in the Guard it’s different sometimes when you feel like a family,

and Chrystal was family.”

The South Carolina National Guard comprises more than 10,000 Soldiers and Airmen

who serve their state and nation. South Carolina National Guard members deploy

worldwide when called by the National Command Authority or Governor. For additional

information, please call 803-806-4486.

Visit WWW.SCGUARD.ARMY.MIL or find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Brian: no, alex is out sick today, but may stop in this evening to do sounds, he said.

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