Senator Marshall Hosts Fort Riley Kansas Gold Star Families In Washington D.C. for Memorial Day

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall will host Kansas Gold Star families in Washington, D.C., for Memorial Day Weekend for a variety of events honoring their loved ones who sacrificed their lives to serve our country. During the trip, Senator Marshall will join them in the First Division Monument rededication ceremony that will add more than 631 names of First Infantry Division soldiers who were killed in action. 

Senator Marshall will be hosting the families of SPC Joseph Lister, SSGT Zac Hargrove, PFC William Johnson, and Sgt. Kevin Gilbertson. 

Since coming to Congress, Senator Marshall has championed the FIRST Act, legislation to honor fallen Big Red One Soldiers at theFirst Infantry Division Monument located in D.C. just outside of the White House. It takes an act of Congress to add names to the monument. 

We are humbled to welcome these Kansas Gold Star Families to honor their fallen soldiers and ensure their legacy and sacrifice are never forgotten. 

SPC Josph L. Lister

Army SPC Josph Lister was born in Kansas City, MO and later moved to Pleasanton, Kansas, where he graduated from high school in 1999. His faith was very important to him, and as a member of the First Baptist Church in Pleasanton he was involved in both the church and school choir. He expressed interest in pursuing a career in education, but instead dedicated his life to the country and enlisted in the Army in the summer of 1999. 

Assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Lister was stationed in Fort Riley in 2002. His family described him as focused, dedicated, and enthusiastic, noting that his time in the military had only built his confidence and maturity. After a deployment to Korea, Lister married Sierra Jones, starting a family in Junction City. He was deployed to Iraq in September of 2003 and died the following November when his convoy was hit by an explosive. 

SSGT Zac Hargrove

Army Staff Sergeant Zachary Hargrove of Wichita, Kansas was a member of the 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, stationed in Fort Riley. He started his military career in September of 1998 and would serve four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, garnering awards including six Army Commendation Medals, six Army Achievement Medals and the Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars. Alongside his dedication to service and leadership, he enjoyed spending time at home with his wife, Fatima. He passed away at age 32 at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan on May 3rd, 2012.

PFC William Johnson

PFC William Johnson was born on January 1, 1985, in Oxford, North Carolina. Chris was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team at Fort Riley, Kansas, was killed on Tuesday, June 12, 2007, in Baghdad, Iraq. While serving, Chris was also an Antioch County volunteer firefighter. Antioch Fire Capt. Clifton Peace, who had known Chris since he was 15 referred to him as a “Hero.” Chris’s family described him as the type of person to do anything for his friends, family, and country. Chris is survived by parents William E. and Rhonda Richards Johnson, as well as his wife Megan and their daughter Christina.

Sgt. Kevin A. Gilbertson

Sgt. Kevin A. Gilbertson was born in 1982 and is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Assigned to the 1stBattalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany; died August. 31 in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations August 29th in Ramadi, Iraq. Described by his fellow service members as an upbeat and all in type of guy, Kevin was a true American that wanted to make a difference. Similarly, Kevin’s family expressed that he always put family, loyalty, and his country first above anything else. Kevin is survived by his father Don Gilbertson and extended family; as well as his wife Nina and two kids.