sartor memorial highway

A soldier from the 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson carries an American flag Monday, May 25, 2020, as friends and family of Sgt. Maj. James Ryan Sartor march the 7-mile stretch of Highway 24 named after the Green Beret who was killed in Afghanistan last July. The highway between Garrett and Elbert roads was renamed SGM James Gregory Ryan Sartor Memorial Highway earlier this year. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Memorial Day is typically filled with parades and public gatherings. This year, most were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  A local woman who lost her husband in combat did not let it stop her from honoring him.

“Probably every other Gold Star family in the country feels like every day is Memorial Day," said Deanna Sartor. "We live our lives to uphold the legacy of the person we lost and to make sure their name is spoken every day if possible.”

Sgt. Major James "Ryan" Sartor was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan in July of 2019. Sartor was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group.

“He wanted to go out with each of his teams at least one time and do a mission with them, and just show them that he supported them and he loved them and he was always there to fight by their side," said Deanna Sartor. “ It would have been his last combat mission in his career probably. One Afghan guy started shooting. It was the only action they saw that night. It hit one of the guys right in front of Ryan and it hit him as well.”

A portion of Highway 24 in Falcon is now dedicated to Sgt. Maj. Sartor and his service. This Memorial day, her first as a Gold Star wife, she decided to walk the entire stretch, all 7 miles, for him.

“For me, it was just an honor to my husband," said Sartor, "I wasn’t really concerned with anyone else showing up. I just wanted to do it out of my love and loyalty for him and his legacy.”


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