Trumansburg Connection: Community comes together to honor fallen soldier

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Sergeant First Class (SFC) Ethan Carpenter, Trumansburg native, and US Army Airborne Ranger passed away on March 15, 2019, in a routine military parachuting accident in Arizona. According to his obituary, during his service, Carpenter faced “seven deployments to Afghanistan and one deployment to Iraq earned him the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, and numerous Commendation and Achievement Medals. Ethan also earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Ranger Tab, the Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, and the Pathfinder Badge during his 10 years of service. {He} was affectionately referred to as the ‘moral compass’ for his men because of his strong faith in God and a fierce warrior who set the bar for all to achieve. He was a loving husband and dedicated father who always found time for his wife Chana and his daughter Cecilia.”


Following a memorial service in Fort Benning, GA, a service was held in Trumansburg at the Calvary Baptist Church with a bagpipe tribute on Friday, March 29 followed by a reception at the American Legion Post 770. Between the two events, a procession through the village to the Legion was organized by community member Leigh Grove, who is also a veteran. Online, she mobilized the community to line the street with American Flags. Grove said, “I heard of SFC. Carpenters passing on a Facebook post. It was such a sad thing to have happened; to do all these tours overseas and then passing in a training accident is horrible. Since a procession hadn’t been planned I decided we would get a bunch of stick flags and I would put the message on Facebook to the community pages. Maybe an hour after that, Mayor [Rordan] Hart had contacted me, and soon after the Village Clerk Tammy Morse contacted me to let me know they appreciated my efforts and they had a lot of resources to pull in. They really were the ones who got it together.”


Hart notes, “Thursday morning I saw a post on social media from some members of the Legion who were trying to organize on very short notice a procession to honor SFC Carpenter. I talked to Tammy about it and Lee Stepp from the Legion called to tell me what they had in mind, so I got ahold of Chief Fulton at the firehouse to let him know what was happening and talked to Chief Nelson at the police department to let him know. Tammy did all the heavy lifting with the other agencies. It was nice to see what can be done in 27 hours with community support. Although I do not know the carpenter family I was happy to see so much support for Ethan.”


Assisting with the procession and the hanging of American Flags were the Trumansburg Fire Department and DPW, and the Ovid Fire Department, which provided a huge flag that hung over Main Street. Participating in the procession were police departments from Trumansburg, Cayuga Heights, Ithaca, Dryden, Groton, State, and County agencies. It was an experience unlike any other as the procession made its way toward the fire hall, as the village literally fell silent. As the procession made its way to the Legion, members waved and seemed truly honored by the community support. In that sad moment, the gratefulness was apparent that so many would come out to honor SFC. Carpenter.


Carpenter’s father Chuck notes, “This tribute was not expected or asked for but for Kathy (Ethan’s mother) and I to come out of Ethan’s memorial service at the church to hear a farewell bagpipe tribute and then see a huge American flag flying in his honor over Main Street made us and our family weep tears of sorrow and pride. Our family thanks you folks more than we can express. We were so surprised and encouraged by those that braved the weather and a long wait along the procession route. It so lifted us up but more than that it made it clear to Ethan’s fellow soldiers, many who traveled up to New York to honor their fellow soldier and friend, that the honor and thanks you folks were showing to Ethan Charles was also for them. Kathy and I, as do you, folks, thank all who serve this great country. In closing let me just say to you wonderful Trumansburg folks that honored Ethan thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You folks are what makes America great and keeps her free. To all the village, county and state law enforcement folks who participated and the local DPW, our deepest gratitude and thanks to you all. The Trumansburg American Legion also was so kind and gracious in providing us with a lovely and welcoming reception.” Kathy added, “I can personally tell you that as I drive that route from town to home I will long remember the flags flying and the faces of those, young and old, that lined the road.”


Please consider making a contribution to the Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund at leadthewayfund.org in honor of SFC Ethan Carpenter.

In Brief:

Robo Jam 2019 to benefit Trumansburg Robotics
Trumansburg Robotics Team 5254 HYPE annual fundraising dinner on April 14, 2019 at the American Legion in Trumansburg from 4 to 8 p.m.
There will be a silent auction with tickets on sale for $10, a couple low-key local bands, a cash raffle, and of course - food! The Legion is cooking their famous chicken and rib bbq, and there will also be a vegan tandoori tofu option. Dinner tickets sell out quickly at the door, so are best purchased ahead of time, and can be purchased from any member of the team. Chicken dinners are $12 and rib dinners are $15, and both include two sides and a team baked treat.

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