Saturday, May 19, 2007

Army Specialist David W. Behrle

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist David W. Behrle, 20, of Tipton, Iowa

Spc. Behrle was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died May 19, 2007 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Christopher Moore, Sgt. Jean P. Medlin, Spc. Joseph A. Gilmore, Pfc. Travis F. Haslip and Pfc. Alexander R. Varela.

Tipton loses second soldier to war in Iraq

The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa — An Army soldier from Iowa was among six soldiers killed May 19 when a bomb exploded near their vehicle in Baghdad, the military said May 22.

The Department of Defense confirmed that Spc. David W. Behrle, 20, of Tipton, died of wounds suffered in the blast.

All six soldiers killed in the explosion were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas.

Behrle is Tipton’s second Iraq casualty. Iowa Army National Guard Sgt. Aaron Siskel, 22, died Nov. 29, 2003, when his convoy was ambushed in Iraq.

Behrle, who graduated in 2005 from Tipton High School, was senior class president.

“He was definitely set on being in the Army,” said a friend, Scott Woode, 20, of Tipton. “He said it felt right. That it was something he needed to do.”

Behrle was the son of Dixie Pelzer, of Tipton, and John Behrle, who lives in Nebraska.

“This is very sad. David was such a good kid, as Aaron was. We are just kind of like, ‘Why Tipton?’ ” said Richard Grimoskas, superintendent of the Tipton Community School District.

Mark Weaver, a Vietnam veteran who is commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2537 in Tipton, said people in town were stunned to learn of the young soldier’s death. Behrle’s grandfather, Kenny Jedlicka, is active in the local American Legion post.

“It’s a great loss to the community. It’s a big shock for a town as small as this one to have lost our second soldier,” Weaver said.

Behrle participated in football, golf and wrestling for the Tipton High School Tigers. He had just visited the school a month or two ago while he was home on leave and had chatted with some former teachers, school officials said.

“David was a great kid, an absolutely wonderful kid. Your typical Iowa kid — very involved and everybody liked him,” Grimoskas said.

Mourners honor sacrifice of Tipton soldier

The Associated Press

TIPTON, Iowa — Funeral services were held May 29 for Army Spc. David Behrle, the second soldier from this eastern Iowa town to die in Iraq.

Hundreds of mourners packed into the Tipton Middle School gymnasium to honor the 20-year-old, who was described as a likable person who was active in school activities.

Behrle, who was Tipton High School’s senior class president and commencement speaker two years ago, was among six soldiers killed May 19 in a roadside explosion near Baghdad. All were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas.

Behrle, who enlisted in the Army in June 2005 and went to Iraq in October, was buried in the Woodbridge Cemetery in Buchanan, about six miles west of Tipton.

Behrle received posthumous awards of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. His school also retired his high school football jersey, which carried the number 65.

His former coaches and teachers described Behrle as a soft-spoken teenager who came prepared, asked questions and worked hard in sports and school.

“Dave was positive, kind, generous and a lot of fun,” said Dick Grimoskas, Tipton’s school superintendent.

The service ended with a montage of photos of Behrle growing up and in the military.

“The war may have taken your body from us but not your heart and soul,” the soldier’s family said in a statement that was read at the funeral.

Tipton, a town of about 3,155 people 30 miles northeast of Iowa City, saw its first hometown soldier die in Iraq on Nov. 29, 2003, when Spc. Aaron J. Sissel, 22, was shot in Hadithah by enemy fire.

Army Specialist David W. Behrle was killed in action on 5/19/07.

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