Saturday, January 20, 2007

Army Staff Sgt. Floyd E. Lake

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Floyd E. Lake, 43, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

SSgt Lake was assigned to the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands; died in Baghdad on Jan. 20 when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter he was in crashed.

By Patricia M. Murret
Capital News Service
Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007

WASHINGTON - Sgt. 1st Class Floyd E. Lake, a logistics coordinator with the Army National Guard, was so good at what he did that, when he joined the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va., three years ago, he filled the shoes of someone two ranks higher.

Lake, 43, a Beltsville resident since December 2004, died Saturday, one of 12 soldiers killed in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crash northeast of Baghdad, Department of Defense officials confirmed Wednesday.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, and five children, J'Nelle, Floyd Jr., Andre, Keeshawn and Tamile.

"He was a wonderful individual. Having him around was a charm," said his commanding officer, Sgt. Maj. Tony Davis.

Colleagues remember Lake as a dedicated father who often could be found attending his children's elementary school activities or running and exercising with his children, Andre and Tamile, who lived with him in Beltsville.

An outdoorsman and "fitness fanatic," Lake took pride in his health and his many physical fitness achievement medals. He repeatedly scored "master fitness" level in military physical training tests, said his civilian boss, Felicia Barrett, logistics support branch chief in the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington.

"He was always out in front, beating most of us in physical fitness tests," Davis said.

A native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Lake spoke often of his home, colleagues said, treating them to island food he prepared himself at home and stories of buying sweet apples at the open market.

Lake graduated from Ivana Eud Kean High School in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in 1984, National Guard officials said.

A career soldier, he enlisted in the Army in 1988, and served two years as a stock record clerk at Fort Polk, La., before completing his tour of duty.

In 1990, Lake joined the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, and served as the material control and handling supervisor for the 662nd Field Service Co. on St. Thomas. In 1991, he moved to St. Croix, where he served as the warehouse foreman at the office of the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office.

In 2004, Lake transferred to the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, where he was the logistics noncommissioned officer at the Readiness Center and was responsible for maintaining a $3 million purchasing budget and providing computers, supplies and automation equipment to more than 250 soldiers in three divisions.

"He took care of everything here," said Barrett. "He would do anything you asked him. He took care of his missions and was meticulous about his duties."

Barrett remembers Lake as an easygoing, soft-spoken man, who was not a socialite, but very friendly, and always promised to bring her island jewelry.

Lake deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, in October 2006

Army Staff Sgt. Floyd E. Lake was killed in action on 1/20/07.

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