Friday, December 30, 2005

Sergeant First Class Shawn C. Dostie

Remember Our Heroes

Sergeant First Class Shawn C. Dostie, 32, of Granite City, Illinois

Sgt Dostie died in Baghdad, Iraq, on December 30, 2005, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during patrol operations. Dostie was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

By Leef Smith
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Thursday, January 12, 2006

Shawn Dostie wasn't a new recruit. He didn't join up to fight the war in Iraq or, like many soldiers, view the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, as a call to arms.

Dostie, of Granite City, Illinois, enlisted in the Army in 1991 after graduating from high school. More than a decade later, the 32-year-old sergeant first class, attached to the 101st Airborne Division and assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, viewed the Army as a career.

Army Brigadier General Andrew Twomey presents a U.S. flag to Stephanie Dostie, wife of slain Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Dostie

Family members said that Dostie knew his deployment to Iraq in September was a mission that would place him in harm's way but that he was committed to protecting his platoon of 12 men and women.

A roadside bomb killed Dostie on December 30, 2005, as he patrolled a main supply route near Baghdad. His wife, Stephanie Dostie, 31, said her husband saved three other soldiers riding with him in a Humvee.

He did "everything he could to protect his people," she told the Sun Journal of Lewiston, Maine. "He took the blast."

Shawn Dostie's family gathered at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday morning to honor the man they said was a loving father of two who joined the Army to follow in the footsteps of his father, a retired Sergeant First Class.

"He wanted to follow me in," Dostie's father, Robert Fugere of Rumford, Maine, told the Belleville News-Democrat. "He wanted me to be proud of him."

Dostie was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

According to news reports, Dostie had completed Pathfinder training -- three weeks of instruction for soldiers who operate in small teams to secure and establish landing or drop zones in advance of air operations -- shortly before deploying to Iraq on September 27, 2005.

"Shawn was a dedicated soldier who loved his country, family, friends and the soldiers he served with," Stephanie Dostie said in a prepared statement. "I watched Shawn evolve into a superior soldier, husband, father and friend."

Standing yesterday under an awning set up to protect them from a light morning rain, Shawn Dostie's family -- including his two children, Cameron, 8, and Bayleigh, 5 -- watched as soldiers folded the flag that had draped his coffin.

Weeks after Dostie's death, friends are still reaching out to comfort his family.

"He was a good man and a hard worker," said Keith Rodgers of Fort Hood, Texas, who penned condolences in an online guest book for mourners. "His work will live on through the soldiers that he trained. . . . Your loved one is a hero."

"Shawn was an incredible person with a huge heart overflowing with love for his family, friends and this country," echoed a posting from Ray and Tracey Benton of Fort Polk, Louisiana. "His pride, devotion and dedication as a soldier will never be forgotten. He was and will always be a hero to us."

Sergeant First Class Shawn C. Dostie was killed in action on 12/30/05.

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