Sunday, October 24, 2010

Army Spc. Steven L. Dupont

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Steven L. Dupont, 20, of Lafayette, La.

Spc. Dupont was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany; died Oct. 24, 2010 at Rangrizan, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

Community affected by Dupont’s death
By Bruce Brown
The (Lafayette, La.) Advertiser

LAFAYETTE, La. — Operation Enduring Freedom became more than a mention on the evening news this week for students and staff at Comeaux High School, as 2008 CHS graduate Steven Dupont was killed in action in Afghanistan on Oct. 24.

“It brings the war home,” math instructor Victoria Koerber said. “It’s not just something students read about any more. They start to experience it first-hand when you lose someone who’s a student at your school.”

The school observed a moment of silence and lowered the American flag to half mast Oct. 26 to honor Dupont, 20, who was a member of the ROTC unit at Comeaux before joining the Army.

Dupont died in Rangrizan, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

He was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, out of Vilseck, Germany.

“He was a good kid — the kind you remember, for the right reasons,” Principal Joe Craig said. “He was the kind of kid you like to have around.

“I remember the first time I saw him was when he was going through the lunch line when he was younger. In time, I got to know him. By the time he finished up, he was one of the leaders of the school.”

“It’s a shame,” Comeaux ROTC Commander John Romann said. “I didn’t know Steven, but his younger brother Robert is in ROTC here at the school. I know the mom and dad, and both young men come from a fine family.”

“They came here five years ago, after Hurricane Katrina,” Craig said. “The kids who ran with Steven and Robert are taking it hard. The first thing we heard was yesterday morning, from some of the ROTC kids, and they were clearly upset. This senior class remembers him.”

“At some point, we will talk with the family and see if they are interested in us finding some way to honor his memory,” Craig said.

Army Spc. Steven L. Dupont was on the last leg of a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan and was scheduled to return home in Milton in time for Thanksgiving, a family friend said Tuesday.

The Army notified Dupont’s family Sunday that insurgents had attacked their son’s unit with an improvised explosive device. Dupont, 20, died from his wounds at Rangrizan, Afghanistan, the military said in a news release late Monday.

Dupont’s parents were notified of their son’s death after attending Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, said Anna McKeon, who works with Brenda Dupont at the church in Milton.

A casualty officer met the family when they arrived home from church, McKeon said. The family flew to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday and were unavailable for comment Tuesday. Dupont’s body is expected to arrive in Lafayette later this week, McKeon said. Funeral arrangements are pending.

The Dupont family moved from Slidell LA in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their home, McKeon said.

Felicia Bernard, who also works with Dupont’s mother, said Steven Dupont was due back home Nov. 21.

Dupont enlisted in the military out of high school after spending four years with the ROTC program at Comeaux High School in Lafayette, said the Rev. Bill Gearheart, the previous pastor at St. Joseph. Gearheart showered praise upon Dupont, calling him a “fine kid” who continued to gain confidence in himself each and every year. “His personality grew as he gained confidence,” Gearheart said. “He was really growing, you could see it.”

Gearheart said Steven Dupont had recently told his mother that he was not afraid to be in Afghanistan because he was at peace with God. Dupont took his faith seriously and was a leader both within the ROTC program and within the church, having volunteered in the church’s youth ministry group and its summer vacation bible school program, Gearheart said.

Corey Gros, 26, of Lafayette, served as youth minister at St. Joseph when Dupont was still in high school. He called Dupont a hero and a nice, respectable and humble person. “He was a very intelligent kid who was always willing to help me out whenever I needed help,” Gros said.

“He just seemed like he had a really bright future ahead of him. I know a lot of people are going to be hurt by his passing,” he said. “He was very involved in the (church).”

Gearheart said Steven Dupont realized that serving in the military allowed him to serve his country while also helping him to afford a quality education at a four-year Catholic college.

“He was really planning his future out instead of simply living in the moment,” Gearheart said.

Leo Hall, a friend and fellow ROTC member, described Dupont as a good person who had always dreamed about being in the military.

“He was like a brother to me and I still can’t believe that he’s gone,” Hall said in an e-mail. “I don’t think any of us believe that this happened. RIP Steven Dupont you will be missed.”

Army Spc. Steven L. Dupont was killed in action on 10/24/10.

2 comments:

Brenda Dupont,GSM said...

Steven was not on "...the last leg of a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan..." He was scheduled to come home on leave. He would be returning to Afghanistan after his leave was over. I wish this information could be corrected. All the media got it wrong. As his mother this hurts my heart, because future generations will not have the correct information.

Terri Rager said...

Mrs. Dupont, I would be more than happy to add anything you would like. You can contact me at terrirager@gmail.com. Thank you