Saturday, May 13, 2006

Army Specialist Ronald W. Gebur

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Ronald W. Gebur, 23, of Delavan, Ill.

Spc. Gebur was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died May 13 of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Baghdad.

Journal Star -- PEORIA - Members of an Illinois Army National Guard unit who knew a Delavan man killed over the weekend in Iraq describe him as a "morals and ethics" type of guy.

"He was a great guy . . . morals and ethics all right there," said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Koslowsky, who served with Spc. Ronald Gebur in the 733rd Quartermaster Battalion, based in Delavan.

Gebur, 23, died Saturday when an explosive device blew up near his Humvee during a patrol in Baghdad, according to the Pentagon.

He leaves behind a wife, who is also in the U.S. Army, and a 9-month-old son.

"He gave the ultimate sacrifice for us," his father, Larry Gebur, said Monday while fighting back tears.

Koslowsky remembered Gebur as someone who enlisted in the National Guard after graduating from Delavan High School in 2002. While with the 733rd, he was a cook, but he had higher aspirations.

"All I know, he wanted to go active duty the minute he came in," Koslowsky said. "He wanted to be infantry."

So in 2004, Gebur transferred to the 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, where he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment. There, he was a platoon leader and a sniper. His unit had just arrived in Iraq for a tour of duty in December.

Master Sgt. Jason Burris was also in the 733rd with Gebur. He remembers him as a friendly guy who always seemed happy. He would volunteer for extra duty and loved the Army.

Deborah Gebur said her son joined the military to follow in the footsteps of his grandfathers, who both served in Korea.

"He was very talented. He grew up learning to hunt with his grandfather, so that's how he learned to shoot. He was just so talented. He was a strong man. That's how I remember him," his mother said.

Koslowsky, 34, said he considered Gebur not just another soldier under his command but a close friend as well. They would hang out together after drill sessions. The death has been tough for the sergeant.

"I will miss him greatly," he said.

Army Specialist Ronald W. Gebur was killed in action on 05/13/06.

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