- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Jasmine Holmquist was eight weeks pregnant last July when her Marine husband was killed in an attack on a Chattanooga reserve center.

Sgt. Carson Holmquist was one of seven fallen servicemen honored Friday during a service outside the Tennessee Capitol on War Memorial Plaza.

After the service, Jasmine Holmquist told reporters it’s the support of the families of the other victims that keeps her going.

Asked what she will tell her child about her father, she said, “How amazing he was.”

The other servicemen killed in Chattanooga and honored on Friday were Marines Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan and Lance Cpl. Squire Wells and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith.

All were awarded the Purple Heart in April after federal officials determined the reserve center attack was inspired by foreign terrorists. It was Sullivan’s third Purple Heart. The family members present on Friday also received the Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal, Honor and Remember flags, and purple irises, the Tennessee state flower.

Speaking to reporters after the service, Well’s mother, Cathy Wells, stood with her arms around Jasmine Holmquist and Tracy Smith, the father of sailor Randall Smith. The three said they have bonded since the attack.

“It’s a bond that we didn’t want,” Wells said, “But having it now, it’s nice. It’s a comforting feeling to know that we’re all going through the same thing.”

The ceremony also memorialized 1st Lt. Alexander Bonnyman, a Marine killed in battle during World War II whose remains were only recovered and returned to Knoxville last fall, and Sgt. Gary Lee Reese with the Tennessee Army National Guard, who was killed in Iraq in 2005. Reese’s parents received the Gold Star Family proclamation.

Gov. Bill Haslam said the fallen servicemen are still remembered, even years later. Reese is still talked about in the Tennessee National Guard, Haslam said, and when he drives through Knoxville, he crosses a bridge named for Bonnyman.

Meanwhile, in Chattanooga, when Haslam attended a memorial there, his car had a hard time getting through the crowds of people who came out to honor those killed in the reserve center attack, he said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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