Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Tears filled Fort Jackson as the community honored two soldiers killed in an accident on base earlier this month.
A memorial service was held for Private Timothy Ashcraft and Private Ethan Shrader.
“They’re both heroes and we should be proud of both those two,” Lt. Col. Jason Pieri said.
Ashcraft was 18 years old. He was from Ohio and loved fishing and skateboarding. He wanted to join his family's long line of service.
“We will never forget you, Tim,” Private Jarret Honner explained during the emotional ceremony. “I’m sorry we can go back home together.”
Shrader was 19 years old. He was from Tennessee. He collected baseball cards and soccer memorabilia.
Leaders said Shrader wanted to be a soldier since he was a little boy.
“I have found rest in knowing that he is now seated with his father in heaven,” Private Darren Sikes said fighting through tears. “Ethan, we love you, we miss you and look forward to seeing you at the end of our days.”
“When a tragedy like this happens it really saddens all of us. We’re sad at the loss of Ethan Shrader and Tim Ashcraft their potential as soldiers and as defenders of our country,” Pieri said.
Both soldiers will receive full military honors. The two privates will be recognized at what would have been their graduation next month and there will also be a memorial in their honor.
The investigation into the accident is ongoing.