Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Army Sgt. Justin A. Officer

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Justin A. Officer, 26, of Wichita, Kan.

Sgt. Officer was assigned to 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Sept. 29, 2010 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

Justin was a Cavalry Scout assigned to Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. He joined the Army in March 2004 and arrived at Fort Campbell in July 2004. His awards and decorations include: Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Meritorious Unit Citation; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Combat Action Badge and Air Assault Badge. Justin served two tours of duty in Iraq prior to this tour in Afghanistan. His devotion to "duty, honor, country" is an inspiration to every American citizen.

Timothy Officer, the father of 26-year-old Sgt. Justin A. Officer of Wichita, Kansas, told KAKE News Saturday that "Justin was a great son."

The elder Officer, himself a retired United States Air Force serviceman, who now resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado said, "Growing up the only trouble he caused us was that he did not want to go to school. After the 7th grade, school for Justin did not hold his attention, he thought of things differently than most."

"He could draw, but never pursued that natural talent. He would often request art supplies on his deployments but I do not know if he was able to produce any drawings or paintings. Justin did not always share all of the details of his military life," Officer continued. "I think he wanted to keep some of that from us to shield us from the dangers, though we knew the danger he was in when he deployed."

"We only lived in Wichita a few years as I was on active duty at the time in the USAF. Justin was naturally exposed to the military from an early age," Officer recalls. "One of his good friends was joining the Army at about the same time that Justin was interested. Justin had no regrets about joining the Army though he did not re-enlist, he continued to extend his service commitment."

"I expected Justin to re-enlist after or on this deployment, though I believe he a had a difficult time revealing this to us. Justin thought of the soldiers in his unit as family, as many soldiers do. Just like you would give your life for your family, Justin gave his life for his Army family," Officer says.

Justin who was raised by the elder Officer and his wife, Stacy, recalls, "Our last time together was in May of this year. Justin always came to visit us on his leaves. We have many great memories from his visits and we miss him more than words can express."

Army Sgt. Justin A. Officer was killed in action on 9/29/10.

No comments: