Memorial honors Green Beret from Skagit Co. who gave his life

CONCRETE, Wash. - A new memorial is paying tribute to a local Green Beret killed in Afghanistan, and the dedication ceremony on Saturday brought together more than just the Skagit County community.

It's been nearly four years since Doug Vose died while serving in Afghanistan and this weekend more than 300 people gathered to honor his service and remember a great man.

A statue in memory of Chief Warrant Officer II Douglas Vose now stands on the football field where Vose spent much of his young life.

His brother, Major Jason Vose, says the memorial means a lot.

"I want people to see, right here, young kids - it means somebody can come from Concrete and make a big difference in the world," he says.

Vose enlisted in August 1988 shortly after he graduated from Concrete High School. He was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2009.

"The worst day of my military career was when I heard of Doug's death," says Col. George Thiebes, Vose's commander. "Nothing could have prepared me for that moment."

As a Special Forces operator, fellow brothers say Vose eptomized the traits of the Green Berets.

"He was a man who truly believed in service to our country," says Thiebes. "He understood his duty and a noble responsibility to preserve and protect the freedom that we cherish. These things were as real to him as life itself."

Dr. Robert Gates was U.S. secretary of defense when Vose died. He came to Saturday's ceremony to dedicate the memorial to Vose.

"I was always brought up short when reviewing a casualty list and saw a hometown in Skagit County," he says. "I never lost site of the human dimension and the human cost of my decisions and decisions made at White House."

Vose's statue is now a reminder of his strength and courage - and meant to inspire others for generations to come to do more for their community and country.

"He spent his career doing for others what they couldn't do for themselves and protecting the world over," says his brother Jason. "What more can you ask of someone than to sacrifice their life for the betterment of mankind."

Doug Vose was the first person from Skagit County to die while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.