Monday, May 17, 2010

Marine Staff Sgt. Adam L. Perkins

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Staff Sgt. Adam L. Perkins, 27, of Antelope, Calif.

SSgt Perkins was assigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died May 17, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. and bomb technician Adam Perkins knew that his job could lead to his death, so before the Marines redeployed him to Afghanistan last month, Perkins made sure his 9-month-old son would remember him.

"He videotaped himself reading a bunch of books to his son," his mom, Laureen Myers, said Saturday.

Perkins, who grew up in Antelope and attended Center High School, died Monday while defusing a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where at least nine Marines have been killed this month. He was 27.

Perkins' mom and step dad said Saturday that they had received an outpouring of support from his friends and comrades.

"Adam was a hero," said step dad Bill Myers. "What he did saved countless lives, both military and civilian."

Perkins joined the Marines one week after Sept. 11, 2001, wanting to do something about what he saw on television. He chose to become a bomb technician, his mom said, because he thought it would be a challenge.

The Marines sent Perkins overseas three times. He volunteered for his second deployment to take the place of a fellow technician who was a new father, his mom recalled.

Stationed at Camp Pendleton, Perkins was happiest when around his wife and son, whom the family did not want named. A serious man, Perkins often would go long periods without cracking a smile – unless his son was in the room.

Perkins didn't talk much about his work. Still, he told his mom that he didn't care for the Oscar-winning movie "The Hurt Locker," with its protagonist casually disabling bombs.

"It's a Hollywood version," Laureen Myers said, recalling Perkins' views. "He was very big on safety. Don't think for a minute he was not cautious."

He was cautious to the end. Her voice shaking, Myers explained that it wasn't a mistake that caused her son's death.

"He was defusing a roadside bomb," she said, "and there was a second detonation."
Staff Sgt. Adam L. Perkins, 27, was killed Monday while trying to disarm the insurgents' primary weapon in the Helmand province. His death is the fourth troop fatality for the base in the past two weeks.

A native of Antelope in Sacramento County, Perkins suffered "multiple traumatic injuries" when the bomb detonated, the base said in a prepared release.

Married and the father of a 9-month-old son, Perkins was on his third combat deployment. He served two tours of duty in Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan earlier this year.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2001, one month before the invasion of Afghanistan after the terror attacks of Sept. 11.

Perkins was assigned to the 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group.

Hidden roadside bombs -- called improvised explosive devices -- continue to kill Marines and Afghan civilians. Authorities said Perkins died of multiple traumatic injuries received from an IED.

At Center High School in Antelope, the 2001 graduate was part of a long and proud tradition of boys and girls who have joined the military,
said English teacher Paul Frazee.

Frazee, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, maintains contact online with former students who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We have a lot of kids who right now are fighting in the war on terror," Frazee said Thursday.

He said Perkins was a fine student, an Eagle scout and an active member of his church.

"We teach our kids to be thoughtful and productive and responsible members of society," said Frazee. "Adam took that to heart. He was just a fine young man. He will be missed."

School bookkeeper Dana Busath has known Perkins' family for many years. She recalled that Perkins enjoyed a good time and loved life.

The Marines said Perkins, who was based at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, was married and had a child.

Under the surge this summer, about 9,000 Marines from Camp Pendleton are among the 20,000 Marines now serving in Afghanistan.

Perkins first enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2001 and was serving his third deployment when he was killed. He was previously deployed to Iraq in 2006 and 2008.

His military awards and decorations included: the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat “V” distinguishing device for valor; Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with combat “V”; Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with star; Iraq Campaign Medal with two service stars; National Defense Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Combat Action Ribbon; Navy Unit Commendation, second award; and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

The Center High graduate was an explosive ordinance disposal technician with the 1st Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group based out of Camp Pendelton, California.

"As 1st Marine Logistics Group mourns the loss of one of our own, our heartfelt condolences go out to Staff Sgt. Adam Perkins’ friends and family," officials said.

SSgt. Perkins is survived by his wife and infant son as well as his mother Laureen Myers and step father Bill Myers.

Marine Staff Sgt. Adam L. Perkins was killed in action on 5/17/10.

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