Memorial stone to honor Fort Bragg soldier

FORT BRAGG Starr Whitten's husband, Captain Daniel Whitten, died in February while on patrol in Afghanistan.

The 28-year-old West Point graduate was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

"There was just a convoy and Dan's vehicle was the fourth vehicle back," Whitten said. "And originally, one of the vehicles struck an IED and so it was disabled, but there was nobody hurt. So his vehicle was carrying somebody else's back."

That's when Capt. Whitten's vehicle struck a bomb. He and his driver, 20-year-old Pfc. Zachary Lovejoy, were killed.

Now, his wife is planning to honor him in conjunction with a Wounded Warrior "Road to Recovery" motorcycle ride on September 11.

"They're going to be biking from the Iron Mike on post to the newly placed Iron Mike at the Museum and so they're going to arrive in time for event," Whitten said.

Capt. Whitten's stone will be placed outside the Special Operations Museum's front door. It'll join more than three dozen already in place honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Whitten says as the death toll of US soldiers skyrockets in Afghanistan, the ceremony and bike ride will serve as reminders of the sacrifices that are being made by families all across the country.

She says the event will also help her deal with the tragic loss of her husband and best friend.

"And I just know that I've got the best guardian angel looking after me so, I got closure. I'm okay," Whitten said.

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