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ECU memorial dedicated to students killed in action

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By Wnct Staff

GREENVILLE, N.C. - Since it's earliest days, East Carolina and the military have been closely linked including having both Army and Air Force ROTC detachments on campus.

ECU honored those men and women who have served including some who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

The Freedom Wall is now home to the Veteran’s Club Victory Bell, a campus fixture since 1953. And the first stones in the memorial walk were installed.

The walk says thanks, to honor Pirates for their military service and memorialize those who have died in that service.

"We're going to honor 2 people who served during Vietnam, that was an unpopular period, it's probably a little overdue and we will memorize 2 students from that period and  one from the Afghanistan period," said Steve Duncan, ECU Director of Military Programs.

Those remembered today were Captain James Tant, U.S. Air Force and Vietnam vet, 1st Lieutenant Frank Rice, U.S. Army, who died in Cambodia in 1970, and Sergeant David Smith, a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan last year.

--- Original Story ---

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- A memorial at East Carolina University will be dedicated to three students who died while serving their country.

University officials say the dedication ceremony for the new Memorial Walk and Freedom Wall will be at 11:00 a.m.

The three students honored in Tuesday’s ceremony are Capt. James Tant who graduated in 1965 and died in 1974 in Bolivia. First Lieutenant Frank Rice graduated in 1967 and died in Cambodia in 1970 and Sgt. David Smith who graduated in 2010 and died in Afghanistan’s Helmand province that same year.

Three other former students are also being honored for their service. Those former students are Lt. Col. John Hart and Master Sgt. (Ret.) Ervin Evans.

The dedication space will be between Christenbury Gym and the science complex on ECU’s main campus.

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