Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Army Sgt. Bradley J. Skelton

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Bradley J. Skelton, 40, of Gordonville, Mo.

Sgt. Skelton was assigned to the 1138th Engineer Company, 35th Engineer Brigade, Missouri Army National Guard, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; died Feb. 6, 2008 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device during combat operations.

KOMU -- IRAQ - Missouri Army National Guard Sgt. Bradley J. Skelton of Gordonville was killed on February 6 while serving in Iraq.

A press release from the Missouri National Guard says that Sgt. Skelton was killed when his vehicle struck an IED (improvised explosive device). He was deployed with the 1138th Engineer Company, whose primary responsibility was to locate and disable IED's along military supply routes.

Skelton was deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005, and had come out of retirement to serve a second deployment in the Middle East in July 2007. He joined the National Guard in 1984, during his senior year in high school.

"I knew [Skelton] personally and was very proud of his decision to rejoin the Missouri National Guard for this deployment," said Maj. Gen. King Sidwell, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard.

In an interview before his deployment, Skelton said he wanted to serve with friends who were returning to Iraq, and hoped his past experience would benefit newer soldiers as well.

Skelton originally enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard in 1984, during his senior year in high school. He deployed with the 1140th Engineer Battalion to Iraq in 2004-2005. He came out of retirement to mobilize with the unit in July 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 1138th Engineer Company (Sapper) has been conducting route clearance Operations while in Iraq. The unit attempts to locate and defeat improvised explosive devices (IED) and maintain traffic flow along military supply routes.

His military awards include: the Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, third award; National Defense Service Medal, second award; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with mobilization device, second award; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon; Missouri Commendation Medal, second award; Missouri Basic Training Ribbon; Missouri 15 Years Long Service Ribbon; and Utah National Guard 2002 Olympic Winter Games Ribbon.

Skelton is the eighth Missouri National Guard soldier to have lost his or her life during the current conflict in Iraq. Skelton was 40 years old.

Army Sgt. Bradley J. Skelton was killed in action on 2/6/08.

No comments: