Saturday, August 07, 2004

Army Pfc. David L. Potter

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. David L. Potter, 22, of Johnson City, Tenn.

Pfc Potter was assigned to the 115th Forward Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Aug. 7, 2004 of non-combat-related injuries in Baghdad.

Soldier killed in Iraq felt duty to serve
Associated Press

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — A Tennessee soldier who died in Iraq was carrying on a family tradition of military service, relatives said.

The Army announced the death of 22-year-old Pfc. David L. Potter of Johnson City on Monday. They released no information about Saturday’s death except that it was “non-combat related” and under investigation.

Potter was with the 115th Forward Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.

“The only thing I really know is that we’ve got a lot of pride in him,” said his older brother, Carlton Potter of Sevierville.

David Potter was born in Portsmouth, N.H., but graduated from Gatlinburg-Pittman High School in Sevierville and enlisted in February 2003. He had been living in Johnson City as a sophomore art student at East Tennessee State University. He was not married.

“My father was in the Air Force, and I was in the Army,” Carlton Potter said. “He felt like he wanted to try it and do what we had done.”

David Potter originally enlisted as a reservist to pay for college, recruiter Sgt. Rusty Hicks said. But Hicks said Potter thought about it becoming a career.

Potter requested active duty, and the Army sent him to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., followed by intelligence training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

“He was an asset, the way we saw it,” Hicks said. “It was good for him and good for the Army.”

Potter arrived at Fort Hood, Texas, on New Year’s Day and deployed to Iraq in March, his family said.

“He said the reason he put on his uniform was so we could sleep safely at night,” his brother said. “That’s what he said kept him going.”

Army Pfc. David L. Potter died of non-combat injuries on 8/7/04.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Elia P. Fontecchio

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Elia P. Fontecchio, 30, of Milford, Mass.

GSgt Fontecchio was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.; died Aug. 4 of injuries sustained in enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

When Elia P. Fontecchio returned from his first tour of duty in Iraq, he spent days figuring out how to break the news to his wife that he would be going back. When it came to his 2-year-old son, he felt there was no way to explain.

"You don't at that age. You just do what you can," he told The Associated Press in an interview in December. "Mommy bears the brunt of it."

The 30-year-old from Milford, Mass., was killed in Iraq's Anbar province on Aug. 4, two weeks before he was due to return home.

He was based at Twentynine Palms, Calif. Fontecchio's first tour gave him confidence as he approached his second departure.

"I'm very familiar with the territory and the culture now. We know some of the mistakes ... and we know how to handle them now," he said.

"He was the model Marine, the model person, the model husband, the model father," his uncle Dana Fontecchio said.

Survivors include his wife, Kinney, and son, Elia Jr.

— Associated Press

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Elia P. Fontecchio was killed in action on 08/04/04.