JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
Members of the 633rd Security Forces Squadron, Air Force Office of Special Investigation, Naval Criminal Investigative Services gathered for a ruck march in memory of joint patrol team Hustler 6 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 21, 2018.
Four AFOSI special agents and two SFS defenders were killed when their joint patrol, Hustler 6, was attacked by a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle near Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Dec. 21, 2015:
Maj. Adrianna M. Vorderbruggen, 36, AFOSI 9th Field Investigations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Staff Sgt. Michael A. Cinco, 28, AFOSI 11th Field Investigations Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.
Staff Sgt. Peter W. Taub, 30, AFOSI Detachment 816, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.
Staff Sgt. Chester J. McBride, 30, AFOSI Detachment 405, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
Tech. Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, 45, 105th SFS at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.
Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa, 31, 105th SFS at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.
Lemm and Bonacasa, members of the OSI Agents' Tactical Security Element, were posthumously given honorary Special Agent status.
Participants rucked for six miles, stopping at every mile marker to share memories of lives lost that day three years ago. Not all who gathered knew them personally, but for many, they were dear friends.
There were moments of solemnity throughout the march, but some memories meant former friends could not hold back the smiles.
“Joe was like a big uncle figure to everyone on my team, he was a prankster and a jokester,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. David Edwards, Air Combat Command Directorate of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection manager of integrated defense operations. “I was the squad leader and he was about 12 years older than me though I was a tech and he was a staff. So I listened to what he had to say because he had a lot of life experience. But for all that maturity, he got my [rear] into a sling with my senior so many times because he was always pulling pranks on people.”
As Edwards recounted stories of Lemm commandeering an Army guidon and smearing peanut butter on steering wheels, the crowd could not help but laugh.
Maura Rust, 633rd SFS resource advisor, chuckled as she shared memories of Cinco’s ‘yeah bro’ attitude and the things he loved.
“Cinco was a defender first. He loved his family, the Air Force and his car,” Rust said. “He had this little souped-up blue Subaru. He loved that car more than anything. He was super funny, soft spoken, kind and did amazing things while I knew him.”
But through it all, the one thing that resonated with every story was the dedication each member brought to the table.
“Adrianna was the kind of leader that without saying too much, she made you want to be a better person; the kind of leader that without saying too much, makes you want to make them proud of you,” said Special Agent Maj. Hubert Lesniak, AFOSI Detachment 201 commander. “She was the kind of person I wake up in the morning and aspire to be myself.”
With every memory shared, the lives that were touched in the crowd could be seen.
Edwards said the most impressive thing he has seen in his career was going to Lemm’s funeral in New York City, watching the New York Police Department shut down the city of Manhattan for the procession and seeing Lemm’s son, on the shoulders of his partner, hold a salute for his father as he was brought out of the cathedral.
“We honor those we’ve lost best by celebrating their legacy and memory,” Rust said. “We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.”
(Editor’s Note: Portions of this article were provided by SA Jason P. McCoy, AFOSI Office of Special Projects, Detachment 6.)