COLUMBIA — The late Capt. Richard G. Cliff Jr., Sgt. Adam Wenger and Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Taylor will be among the seven South Carolina soldiers and one Marine honored today in a ceremony to recognize the state's fallen heroes.
As part of his annual offering, Sen. Jake Knotts, a Republican from West Columbia who spent his career in law enforcement, has put together the solemn Fallen Soldiers Ceremony for the state's men who died this year in military service.
The families of the servicemen will receive the Order of the Palmetto Patriot and a flag that was flown atop the Statehouse on their behalf. They will also be presented a copy of "The Heart of a Warrior - Faith Lessons from a Fallen Hero," which was written by Miriam Leimbach, mother of the late Sgt. David L. Leimbach of Taylors, one of the fallen soldiers who will be honored this year.
Cliff, 29, of Mount Pleasant, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Sept. 29. He was a husband to Stacy and the father of Richard G. Cliff III.
Wenger, 27, of Mount Pleasant died in November in Iraq. He leaves behind his wife, Brandy, and their children Aubrey, 5, and Matthew, 3.
Taylor, 29, of Hanahan was killed in September in Iraq during his third tour of duty. He is survived by his wife, Randi, and three daughters, Ryann, 5; Raegan, 2; and Raina, born in June.
Also to be honored are:
• Master Sgt. Danny E. Maybin of Columbia
• Marine Capt. Garrett T. Lawton of Beaufort
• Staff Sgt. Ronald Phillips, Jr. of Conway
• Sgt. Shawn F. Hill of Wellford
Read more of this story in Thursday's editions of The Post and Courier.