Monday, April 16, 2007

Army Pfc. Aaron M. Genevie

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Aaron M. Genevie, 22, of Chambersburg, Pa.

Pfc. Genevie was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas; died April 16 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

Chambersburg Public Opinion -- Pfc. Aaron Genevie was a young man who loved the Army, and as of his last MySpace posting, did not regret enlisting, even though he was not always particularly crazy about his first post at Fort Riley, Kansas.
On Monday, the 22-year-old Chambersburg soldier died from injuries suffered when his Army vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Baghdad, Iraq. The Department of Defense confirmed Genevie's death Tuesday.

"I'm one of those crazy people who actually DON'T regret joining the Army," he wrote on his MySpace Web site.

In a later posting, he wrote almost as if he had a premonition, or perhaps those who serve in a war zone are only too aware of how close death follows them around.

"It's the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag," he wrote on his site.

In his MySpace posting, he described himself as someone who liked to read, take classes "to make myself smarter" and enjoyed doing the Army's physical training, known as PT, "because it's healthy."

At presstime Tuesday night, little was known about Genevie aside from his Web posting on MySpace, other than that he was officially listed as being from Chambersburg by the Army and had played junior varsity basketball in 2002 at McConnellsburg.

His family was in seclusion Tuesday night at their Chambersburg home.

One Fort Riley friend, Aurora Selbe, remembers him as a "beautiful person" who was always respectful and continued to call her "Mrs. Selbe" even after she assured him it was OK to call her by her first name.

"He was a very smart guy who loved being a soldier," she said in an e-mail to Public Opinion Tuesday night. "He will be greatly missed."

Aurora Selbe's husband is a staff sergeant with Bravo Company, the company to which Genevie was assigned, and she first met him on Thanksgiving when he and two other of the company's single soldiers were invited to the Selbe home for dinner.

"I liked him immediately," she said.

The Selbes had Genevie and other single soldiers for dinner again a few weeks before the unit was deployed and everyone talked about getting together for a "huge" barbecue when they got home, she said.

"My husband, Staff Sgt. Selbe, and the rest of Bravo troop are very saddened by his death because they are a very close knit group of guys who are good at what they do," she said in her e-mail to Public Opinion.

She said Genevie will be "greatly missed" by his unit and fellow soldiers at Fort Riley.

According to one of his MySpace postings two years ago, Genevie was a 6-foot tall Virgo whose long-term goal was to customize his 1999 Nissan Ultima.

Whether he still had the Nissan when he was deployed is unknown.

Army Pfc. Aaron M. Genevie was killed in action on 4/16/07.

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