Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Army Staff Sgt. Sean M. Gaul

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Sean M. Gaul, 29, of Reno, Nev.

SSgt. Gaul was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Vilseck, Germany.; died Jan. 9, 2008 in Sinsil, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated during combat operations. Also killed were Spc. Todd E. Davis, Staff Sgt. Jonathan K. Dozier, Sgt. Zachary W. McBride, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Pionk and Sgt. Christopher A. Sanders.

Reno Gazette Journal -- Army Sgt. Sean M. Gaul, 29, of Reno, and five other soldiers were killed Wednesday in Sinsil, Iraq, when their vehicle was struck by a homemade bomb during combat operations.

He was the second soldier from Reno to die this week. Army Sgt. David J. Drakulich, 22, of Reno, was killed Wednesday when his vehicle struck a mine near Chagali, Afghanistan.

Gaul was in his fifth deployment, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, after enlisting in the Army in late 1999. He was killed while on patrol in the Diyala Province.

“Sean loved his job, knowing the risks he re-enlisted during his fifth deployment,” said his wife Jessica Gaul, in a statement. “It seemed Sean was a lifer for sure. He did not waiver from his responsibility. He always trained hard as he led the way by example. He was focused and determined as he sought out more special forces training.

“Sean was a very good man, loving husband, father and true friend,” she said.

Gaul was the 57th soldier from Nevada to have died in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere in the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001.

Gaul attended Reed High School where he was a member of the J.R.O.T.C and earned a General Equivalency Diploma in 1997. He was devoted to martial arts, loved Scuba diving, was a triathlete and liked to fly fish, his family said.

Gaul leaves behind his wife, daughter, mother, father and four sisters as well as other family.

The Gaul family said they want to “extend warm and burdened hearts” to the Drakulich family.

Funeral services for the soldiers have not yet been set.

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, who had the flags flown at half-staff at the Capitol on Friday for Drakulich, will do the same for Gaul on Monday.

“Staff Sergeant Gaul was an extraordinary and dedicated soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country while serving his fifth tour of duty in support of the Global War on Terror,” Gibbons said. “It is with profound gratitude that we honor his devotion and his service to our nation.”

The others killed with Gaul were Spc. Todd E. Davis, 22, of Raymore, Mo., Staff Sgt. Jonathan K. Dozier, 30, of Rutherford, Tenn., Sgt. Zachary W. McBride, 20, of Bend, Ore., Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Pionk, 30, of Superior, Wis., and Sgt. Christopher A. Sanders, 22, of Roswell, N.M.

The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Vilseck, Germany.

Gaul initially served with B Co., 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. and was first deployed to Afghanistan soon after the Sept. 11 attack.

He then was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq. In September 2003, he was sent to Afghanistan with a coalition security forces team to help guarantee free elections. He then transferred to a Stryker brigade at Fort Lewis, Wash., and was deployed to Ramadi and Mosul, Iraq.

After graduating from the Army Ranger school, Gaul returned to his unit, which had transferred to Vilseck, Germany. He then completed the U.S. Army’s sniper school before deploying one last time.

Army Staff Sgt. Sean M. Gaul was killed in action on 1/9/08.

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