Monday, October 17, 2011

Army Staff Sgt. James R. Leep Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. James R. Leep Jr., 44, of Richmond, Va.

SSgt Leep was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment, 116th Brigade Combat Team, Virginia National Guard, Portsmouth, Va.; died Oct. 17, 2011 in Babil province, Iraq in a noncombat incident.

SSgt Leep joined the National Guard in 1986 and served on active duty from December 1987 to August 1995 as a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic. He rejoined in January 2006 and worked as a combat engineer and construction equipment supervisor.

He worked full time as a surface maintenance repair technician at the Virginia National Guard field maintenance shop in Richlands, Va. He had previously been deployed to Bosnia from 2001-’02; Southwest border security in 2006; in Iraq with the 276th Engineer Battalion from 2003-’05; and in Afghanistan from 2008-’10, also with the 276th.

SSgt Leep was serving as a combat engineer and construction equipment supervisor and was reassigned to Troop A as a truck commander for the unit’s convoy security mission and was commander for a convoy escort team. He began active duty on June 1, to conduct convoy security and base defense operations. The unit arrived in Iraq in late July.

“It is very sad that this has happened and difficult to think of the appropriate words to say that would relieve the pain and suffering that this family feels,” Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia. “Soldier and family care are very important and we intend to do everything we can to support his family and the men and women that deployed with him.

“We ask that his community and the rest of Virginia keep his family in their prayers during this time of Grief,” Long stated. “I have personally spoken with the unit’s commander in Iraq, and the unit is doing everything that can be done to support the members of the unit during this difficult time. Here in Virginia, we will make sure the family has all the resources we can provide to help them cope with their loss.”

Sgt. Timothy Bayless, who deployed with Leep to the southwest U.S. border in 2005 and to Afghanistan in 2008, described his longtime friend as a happy, conscientious team player. “He was always upbeat, always willing to do whatever it took to complete the mission at hand,” Bayless said

Leer was an avid motorcycle rider, hunter and fisher who was always talking about his two daughters, Bayless said.

“I remember him riding that big Harley-Davidson to work from the time it started getting warm in the spring until it got cold," said Staff Sgt. Greg Newberry. “That ride and hunt was what he liked to do when he wasn’t serving his country or working."

SSgt Leep is survived by his wife, Paula, two adult children, and sister, Sherry.

1 comment:

chupa carbara said...

we miss you brother