MRE honors the fallen

Military Reporters & Editors mark Memorial Day

WASHINGTON, May 28 – For those of us who cover the military, there is no higher calling than to honor the fallen by sharing stories of ultimate sacrifice and the ongoing burden experienced by loved ones left behind, it is a burden shared by few on behalf of the many.

There are many reasons to do so.

MRE honors the fallen.
Courtesy Arlington National Cemetery

Service is inherently risky. And while we are not technically at war, there are tens of thousands of men and women deployed to dangerous places.

On March 20, Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Oriola Michael Aregbesola died in a non-combat related incident while supporting Red Sea Operations. On March 4, Army Reserve Lt. Col. Orlando Bandeira, 54, of Tampa, Florida died as a result of a non-combat-related incident.

Troops need not be deployed to give their lives to service. On May 13, 1st Lt. Zachary Galli, 23, an explosive ordnance disposal officer assigned to the 749th Ordnance Company based at Fort Carson, Colorado, died in a “non-combat related training accident,” while training at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

There is also the ongoing scourge of servicemember and veteran suicide.

According to the most recent figures published by the Defense Department, 492 troops died by suicide in 2022, 32 fewer than the previous year.

According to the most recent figures published by the Department of Veterans Affairs, “6,392 Veterans died by suicide in 2021, an increase of 114 suicides from 2020.”

Since 1775, more than 1,197,000 U.S. troops died supporting combat operations, including more than 7,000 in post-9/11 actions.

We honor the fallen of yesterday, today, and tomorrow because the nation needs reminding that American men and women have been placed in harm’s way on the public’s dime and in their name. And there are families left behind to grieve.

MRE | Military Reporters & Editors Mission

  • Advance the public understanding of the military, national security, and homeland defense.
  • Represent the interests of working journalists to the government and military.
  • Assure journalists have access to places where the U.S. military and its allies operate.
  • Provide resources, support. educational and networking opportunities for members, fostering excellence in journalism.

For more information, visit the MRE website at