Army Capt. Rowdy J. Inman, 38, of Panorama Village, Texas
Capt. Inman was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas; died Dec. 26, 2007 in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds sustained from small-arms fire during dismounted combat operations. Also killed was Sgt. Benjamin B. Portell.
Houston Community — Army Capt. Rowdy J. Inman, 38, and Army Sgt. Benjamin B. Portell, 27, of Bakersfield, Calif., were killed in Mosul, Iraq Wednesday by wounds they suffered from small arms fire during dismounted combat operations, the U.S. Department of Defense reported Friday afternoon. They were assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, III Corps at Fort Hood.
Inman's death marks the sixth loss this year of troops with ties to Montgomery County. A total of 13 troops, either from Montgomery County or with ties to the county, have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the War on Terror. Inman’s mother lives in Round Rock. He is the winner of the Bronze Star Medal and numerous other military awards and decorations.
Inman's uncle, 70-year-old Herman Dicus of Corpus Christi, said family members have heavy hearts. They're "kind of tore up," he said. "It's sad. I knew what he went through," said Dicus, who spent 20 years in the Navy, including five tours in Vietnam.
"This is such hard news," said Ron Loftin, of the Rivershire subdivision in Conroe, a former neighbor of Inman's. "God bless him and the other members of his unit. He made the ultimate sacrifice. "He did it, not for himself, but for the rest of us. That's the kind of guy he was."
A Desert Storm veteran and Sam Houston State University Reserve Officer Training Corps graduate, Inman was married to his wife Shannon for eight years and had two children, Keeley, 7, and Gary, 4. The family currently resides in Harker Heights, near Fort Hood.
The family left Rivershire when Inman was stationed at Fort Hood. His neighbors and friends had a small neighborhood barbecue before they left.
"One of the things he said before he left was he hoped that his next tour would be just as safe and he would come back soon," Loftin said about Inman previous tour in Iraq. "I pray for his wife and his children and the other members of his family." The Department of Defense listed Inman's address as Panorama Village.
Inman served two tours in Iraq totaling 19 months before briefly leaving the Army. He quickly reenlisted and shipped out for this final tour in Iraq in November.
"His wife didn't want him to stay in, so he got out for about one month and then got back in," said Herman Dicus, Inman's uncle, who lives in Corpus Christi. "He liked ROTC and school. He liked it enough to go into the Army."
Inman didn't like civilian life, neighbors said. "He loved service life," Rivershire neighbor Betty Knauf said. "He missed it when he got out, so that's why he got back in."
Rivershire neighbor Buddy Gorski saw Inman in early November, when Inman stopped by his house with another soldier before they were deployed.
"I couldn't say anything bad about him," Gorski said. "He was a great guy. "I'd be in the front yard doing something and he'd come over and help me. I never had to ask him."
The "ultimate dad and friend," as friend Krysti Kruse described Inman, was always talking about his wife, children and his dad driving tanks.
"One of the first times we met, he showed me pictures of his family and told me how he met his wife," said Kruse, of Montgomery. "He was so in love with her."
The Army captain met his wife, Shannon, while attending SHSU, said Janet Tingle, Oak Ridge High School head volleyball coach. Shannon graduated from ORHS.
"She played volleyball and softball for Oak Ridge," Tingle said. "She came back and taught for us and then taught at Conroe."
Shannon taught in Conroe from 1997-2000 and previously taught swimming, volleyball and softball in Klein. She coached volleyball at Montgomery High School during the 2005-06 school year.
Friend Greg Landrum, of Montgomery, met Inman while attending a MHS softball game. His daughter played on the varsity team.
"His family meant everything to him," Landrum said. "He'd do anything for you. He was just a great all-around guy."
The Inmans first left Conroe in 2001 for Colorado Springs, where Shannon became the head softball coach and assistant volleyball coach at Wasson High School.
According to Tingle, Shannon was an intense and very aggressive athlete while at ORHS. "Rowdy was just the most wonderful guy, very supportive of Shannon and her coaching," Tingle said.
Inman was commissioned as an officer in the SHSU ROTC program in spring 2000, according to www.shsu.edu. The uniform he wore while serving in Desert Storm was on display in 2002 at the "ROTC: Celebrating 50 Years at Sam Houston State University" exhibit.
The last time Benny Bennett saw his high school classmate Rowdy J. Inman was 12 years ago during a trip to the grocery store, but the short conversation the two shared will stay engraved in his memory forever.
Inman, was a 1986 King High School graduate and member of the school's Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.
"His name says it all," Bennett said. "He was a bit rowdy, a lot of fun and probably one of the coolest friends a guy could have in high school. I'll never forget him. We had so much fun."
Bennett said in 1984 he had an opportunity to travel with Inman and other NJROTC members to a boot camp in Orlando, Fla. The group also had a chance to visit Disneyland.
"Rowdy and I had such a wonderful time," he said. "It was like we were little kids again, getting on all of the rides and enjoying the place."
Over the years, Bennett and Inman lost touch, but the two had a chance to catch up during a trip to the grocery store 12 years ago.
"We basically caught each other up on where we were with our lives and wished each other the best in the future," Bennett said. "I would've never guessed that would be the last time I would talk to him."
Bennett, sales and marketing director for Berry's Jewelers, said he heard about Inman's death from news reports.
Two Fort Hood soldiers die in Iraq
The Associated Press
FORT HOOD, Texas — Two decorated soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, one from Texas and the other from California, died in combat in Iraq, the Department of Defense announced Dec. 28.
Capt. Rowdy J. Inman, 38, and Sgt. Benjamin B. Portell, 27, died the day after Christmas in Mosul, Iraq, from small-arms fire during dismounted combat operations.
Inman, of Panorama Village, Texas, was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and numerous other military awards and decorations.
Among the military awards and decorations earned by Portell, who was from Bakersfield, Calif., was an Army Commendation Medal.
Both soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Squadron of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, headquartered at Fort Hood.
Army Capt. Rowdy J. Inman was killed in action on 12/26/07.
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