Quentin Stambaugh flew 39 missions over the South Pacific with the Air Apaches in World War II. Every time a plane went down, he realized that another six men he had known very well were gone forever.
Now three generations later, the reality of war visited the 88-year-old Jackson Township veteran again on July 8, when his grandson was killed in Afghanistan.
Army Private 1st Class Cameron J. Stambaugh, 20, was one of six NATO service members killed when an armored vehicle he was in was demolished by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. He was one of two area soldiers honored in a flag ceremony at Prospect Hill Cemetery.
The Spring Grove graduate and former Yorker Army Staff Sgt. Brandon R.
Pepper, 31, was killed when his patrol came under attack from insurgents in Ghazni Province in Afghanistan on July 21. He was buried Thursday in Arlington National Cemetery.
As the names of each of the nearly 300 soldiers' names were read, Quentin Stambaugh and other veterans saluted. A bell tolled, and another flag was pushed into the ground. Crates of doves were released, and a bagpiper played Amazing Grace to end the ceremony.
With the additions, the Afghanistan display now contains more than 2,000 flags and a "Fallen Hero" banner display that pays tribute to all fallen soldiers with ties to York.
On Thursday, a banner was added for Marine Sgt. Christopher Wrinkle, who died last year in Afghanistan with his canine partner when fire swept through their living quarters. His mother, Joan Snyder of Stewartstown, helped to unveil the banner.
The Iraq and Afghanistan War Flag Memorial was created in 2005 to recognize the lost soldiers.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at email@example.com.