Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Army Staff Sgt. Jerry M. Durbin, Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Jerry M. Durbin, Jr., 26, of Spring, Texas.

SSgt Durbin died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device exploded near his dismounted patrol during combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on January 25, 2006. -- Staff Sgt. Jerry "Micheal" M. Durbin Jr. enlisted in the Army because he thought it would take him on the quickest route toward his goal of one day working for the Central Intelligence Agency.

By 26, he had become a staff sergeant in an air assault unit and had his eyes on becoming a member of the elite Delta Force. To prove his mettle, he served two tours in the Middle East and was deployed for a third in September. Family members said he lived to serve his country.

"He was the leader of everybody, no doubt about it," said his father, Jerry M. Durbin Sr.

The Nimitz High School graduate died Wednesday in Baghdad when a homemade bomb exploded near his patrol during combat operations. He was the 194th Texan to die since the start of the war in March 2003, according to the Department of Defense.

Durbin was born July 6, 1979, in far northeast Houston. At Nimitz, he was the quarterback on the football team, ran track and played baseball.

He attended Kingwood College before enlisting in the Army at 21.

He and his wife, Janelle, married in 2001. His mother-in-law, Juliene Pickens, said her son-in-law was a devoted husband and father of three.

The elder Durbin said that when his son, the oldest of five children, entered a room, he drew everyone's attention.

"He was proud of what he had done. He re-enlisted," his father said. "He's definitely a hero, no doubt about it."

He said he learned about his son's death without a word being said. He said his father met him as he was getting off work late Wednesday night.

"He just started hugging me and I knew what had happened," he said.

The next morning, at 6:30, the Army arrived at his Humble home to officially notify him of his son's death.

Durbin's parents flew to Clarksville, Tenn., to visit him before he left for his third tour of duty in the Middle East and second in Iraq. The elder Durbin said the two-day visit stretched into 19 because Hurricane Katrina prevented them from returning to Texas. He said the two spent time together talking in his son's basement.

"He did mention this time that he was scared because he knew where he was going this time. But he didn't back down," he said.

Durbin was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.

Durbin is also survived by his children, Alyssa and Austin Durbin, and a stepdaughter, Hayley Kaufman, of Clarksville, Tenn.; and his mother, Teresa Durbin, of Houston.

Army Staff Sgt. Jerry M. Durbin, Jr. was killed in action on 01/25/06.


Larry E Durbin Sr said...

Jerry was one of my favorite Grandsons. We shared a lot of time together working on our computers. He was great at programming. We miss him so much even today. Thank you very much for posting this information on the I-net. Larry E. Durbin sr.

Anonymous said...

I love him and miss him dearly! RIP Iceman.