Monday, May 16, 2011

Army Staff Sgt. David D. Self

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. David D. Self, 29, of Pearl, Miss.

SSgt Self was assigned to Fires Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany; died May 16, 2011 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

SSgt Selft, a graduate of Pearl High School in 2000, served several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had been in Afghanistan for 369 days and was killed on his very last mission, training his replacements. A memorial ceremony for fellow soldiers was held 23 May 2011 at 1000 hours in the Rose Barracks Cavalry Chapel in Germany.

"Last mission, first mission ... why now? It just doesn’t seem fair,” said Lt. Col. Steven Bergosh, commander of Fires Squadron, 2nd SCR, whose remarks from a memorial service in Afghanistan were read during the Vilseck service. “We will remember that you were always ready for any mission — even your last,” said Bergosh.

Self was remembered as an exceptional leader who always placed his soldiers' needs before his own. He always maintained his composure and knew everytthing there was to know about his Stryker vehicle, said Capt. Ronald Gevry, Self's troop commander. His remarks also were read during the ceremony.

Gevry said Self was always there for his soldiers. "He led from the front, always staying with [his soldiers] until the mission was completed," said Gevry.

"When it was difficult, he was there. When they were tired, he was there. When they were hungry, he was there. He was always there."

It was these same soldiers and friends who were there during the ceremony, who battled through their emotions to pay their respects.

Several soldiers placed their own combat patches, American flags and combat action badges onto the memorial.

SSgt Self came home on Thursday, May 26th and was escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders to the Funeral home, Baldwin-Lee Funeral Home.

He is survived by his mother, Linda Rhodes; father and step mother, Eddie and Kathleen; sister, Kimela and husband Greg; step sisters, Lorene and husband Bill; and Sherry and husband Russell.

From friends:
May 20, 2011 I served with Ssg. Self in Iraq in 2006. He is a good man and Great soldier. you will be deeply missed and never forgotten. ~ Blake Horne, Zebulon, North Carolina

May 24, 2011 I know everyone will miss you. It was a shock to hear this story so many miles away. I remember you being an NCO who worked for the soldiers and their needs. You were an inspiration to many people. I wish your family the best and an easy heart to know your in a better place. We miss you~ Anthony Mayes, phoenix, Arizona

Army Staff Sgt. David D. Self was killed in action on 5/16/11.

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