Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Army Maj. David L. Audo

Remember Our Heroes

Army Maj. David L. Audo, 35, of St. Joseph, Ill.

Maj. Audo was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 22nd Military Police Battalion, 6th Military Police Group, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Oct. 27, 2009 in Baghdad of injuries sustained from a noncombat-related incident.

ST. JOSEPH – A coach and teacher remembered Army Maj. David L. Audo, a University of Illinois graduate from St. Joseph who died Tuesday in Baghdad, as a great athlete and a better student.

Jim Acklin said that in his 31 years in education, he met more than 5,000 students, and Maj. Audo stood out, both on the St. Joseph-Ogden High School track team and in honors biology.

"His sense of humor sticks out, and he was ornery in a good way," Acklin said Wednesday.

The Defense Department reported that the highly decorated military police officer, 35, died Tuesday in Baghdad of injuries sustained in a non-combat-related incident.

The cause remains under investigation, and no other details were available from a Defense Department spokeswoman.

According to the Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune, he was assigned in July to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 22nd Military Police Battalion at Fort Lewis, Wash., and at the time of his death was serving as executive officer for the battalion's forward element in Iraq.

Audo's military career began after receiving his officer commission in 1997. He took his first military police assignment in Schweinfurt, Germany, served two deployments in Kosovo between 1999 and 2001, did a tour of Iraq in 2003, deployed to Afghanistan in 2005, and in 2006 started a three-year stint as a provost marshal in Southport, N.C.

He was a 1992 graduate of St. Joseph-Ogden High School who went to the UI on a ROTC scholarship, according to News-Gazette files. His civilian education included a bachelor's degree in architecture from the UI in 1998 and a master's degree in business from Webster University in St. Louis in 2002.

He married Rebecca K. Johnson in 1998 in Danville. According to her Web site, they have a son, Austin David, born in 1999, and a daughter, Ashley Marie Elizebeth, born in 2002.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

Acklin said Maj. Audo was on the track team as a sprinter, running dashes and relays.

"The team he was on in the spring of 1992 was arguably the strongest dual-meet team we ever had," Acklin said.

Acklin also saw the future major in advanced biology class.

"He was a good student. In senior honors biology, you have to be pretty motivated. He always had a smile on his face, and was excited to be in class. He was part of a group of fun yet challenging students to teach; you had to bring your A game," he said.

Acklin said Maj. Audo was also in the drama club.

Army Maj. David L. Audo died of a non-combat related incident on 10/27/09.

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