Friday, July 02, 2010

Army Sgt. Jordan E. Tuttle

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Jordan E. Tuttle, 22, of West Monroe, La.

Sgt. Tuttle was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Louisiana National Guard, New Orleans; died July 2, 2010 in Baghdad of injuries suffered in a noncombat-related incident. He was a member of the 156th Army Band in Bossier City, La.

In a Facebook post on June 29, D.G. "Doc" Braswell asked his grandson, Jordan E. Tuttle, if he had arrived at his new base in Iraq. It was just a little note but Braswell's interest and worry for his grandson who was on his second tour of duty in Iraq with the United States Army was evident. Sadly, Tuttle's response July 1 that he had arrived safely at the post, Forward Operating Base Prosperity outside Baghdad, was his last to his grandfather.

On July 2, the 22-year old Tuttle from West Monroe, La., died as a result of a gunshot wound. Braswell said Tuesday afternoon the family does not know the circumstances surrounding his grandson's death.

"The family is just devastated in this news," Braswell said. "Jordan was a patriot and a servant of his country and God. All he wanted to do was help others."

Braswell said Tuttle was surrounded by relatives who served this country in the military. Tuttle's father was in the U.S. Air Force and his stepfather is currently serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq. In fact, Tuttle wanted to go over to Iraq on his second tour with his stepfather, Myron Turner.

"Jordan's first tour was so he could go over and watch after his sister, Clara, who served in Iraq in 2008," said Braswell. "That's the way he was. He was always thinking of someone else other than himself."

Described by his grandfather as easy going, polite and compassionate, Tuttle, said Braswell, was always the first one up from the table to help out any way he could. The oldest of five siblings, Tuttle led by example, said Braswell. It was a code of honor and responsibility Braswell said his grandson carried with pride anywhere he went.

During his 2008 tour, Braswell said Tuttle made it a point to interact with the local population as best as possible. Braswell said his grandson was able to gain the trust of several villagers and that Tuttle took part in helping the villagers gain vital needs to help ease the ravages of war. "He took it upon himself to build relationships with the local people because he felt this overwhelming need to help them," said Braswell.

Tuttle had just enjoyed a leave in May in which he was able to spend time with family and friends.

On Tuttle's MySpace account, friends sent their love and in some cases recounted the good times they had spent with him. Others expressed sorrow they will not get to see him again.

Braswell said he is able to take some comfort in knowing his grandson was a Christian and had an intimate relationship with God. But the pain of losing someone who seemingly had everything going for him and had his entire life ahead to experience is still a heavy sorrow for the family to endure. "We don't know how this happened. He is a casualty of war. But to us he is a hero," Braswell said.

In his final post to his grandson, Braswell wrote, "I love you and I am praying for you."

Funeral arrangements for Tuttle have been postponed, according to Braswell, because the U.S. Army has yet to release his body to the family. Braswell said it may be Sunday before his grandson's body is brought back to Monroe for the family to take possession.

David D'Aquin caught up with Jordan Tuttle and his sister Clara at Camp Taji in Iraq two years ago while covering the war. Jordan's sister, Clara, was deployed with the 165th. They were always close and Jordan didn't want his sister to go to war alone so he volunteered for the mission and went with her. The video interview can be seen here:

Col. Mike Deville of the Louisiana National Guard said he had no further information and the family had asked for privacy at this time.

Tuttle was a 2006 graduate of Ouachita Parish High School and was majoring in entrepreneurship at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Army Sgt. Jordan E. Tuttle was killed in a non-combat related incident on 7/2/10.

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