Saturday, July 30, 2005

Army Sgt. Ronnie "Rod" L. Shelley, Sr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Ronnie L. Shelley, Sr., 34, of Valdosta, Georgia.

Sgt. Shelley died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV while on patrol. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade, Albany, Georgia.

Ronnie ‘Rod’ Shelley: ‘Needed to do his part’
By Anna Varela | Wednesday, August 3, 2005, 05:41 AM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sgt. Ronnie “Rod” Shelley wanted to escort the body of his best friend back to their hometown of Valdosta.

Shelley was riding in a three-vehicle convoy in Iraq on July 24 when a bomb in the road tore apart the Humvee carrying his buddy, Sgt. John Frank Thomas, killing him and three others from his platoon.

Shelley was devastated, but determined to keep doing his job in Iraq, and to serve as a pallbearer at his friend’s funeral.

But Saturday night, Shelley and three other Georgia Army National Guard soldiers met the same fate, killed by another large bomb detonated by insurgents on a road outside Baghdad. Tuesday, as the Thomas family continued to wait for John’s body to return for burial, Shelley’s wife, Heidi, began her wait, too.

Her husband could have gotten a medical exemption from serving in Iraq because he had severe problems with his teeth, she said. A doctor offered to sign a letter that would let him stay home.

“Rod said ‘No. Pull them all so I can go,’ ” Heidi Shelley said. “He needed to go. He needed to do his part.”

Shelley, 34, served in the Marines for eight years and saw combat in the first Gulf War, his wife said. He signed up for the Guard about three years ago, mostly for the retirement pay. He and his wife dreamed of someday selling their house, buying a motor home and sending postcards from the road to their three children, who are now 4, 8 and 13 years old.

Shelley was a graduate of Lowndes County High School. In civilian life, he was the overnight maintenance supervisor at a bakery. He enjoyed bass fishing, camping, four-wheeling, and spending time with his family.

“He thought we were supposed to have a barbecue every Sunday,” said Heidi Shelley, 25. “He was the grill master.”

Army Sgt. Ronnie L. Shelley, Sr. was killed in action 07/30/05.

Ronnie Shelley

Logan Shelley

Allison Shelley

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Army Specialist Edward L. Myers

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Army Specialist Edward L. Myers, 21, of St. Joseph, Missouri.

Spc Myers died in Samarra, Iraq, where his unit was conducting patrol operations and an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Since he was a boy, Edward Myers wanted to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and join the Army. He wanted to be an airborne Ranger. Myers didn't play basketball or go hunting. "He had his goal set on being a soldier, and that was what he did," said his mother, Charlotte Dick.

Myers was the oldest of four children, and a holy terror, his mother said. Myers joined the Army while he was still in high school on the delayed entry program and entered service as soon as he graduated from high school.

At 20, he married Imojean Burns. Myers had known his wife since eighth grade. "We had a weird relationship in high school," she said. "We were really good friends, but at the same time we hated each other."

They started dating Feb. 7, 2004. Imojean moved to Fort Bragg with Myers on April 13, and by April 20 they were married. Eddie left for Iraq again six weeks after their daughter, Rebekah, was born. "Three weeks after I found out we were having a baby, he extended his enlistment," Imojean said.

Myers thought his second deployment would be easier because he knew the culture and the issues of Iraq. It would be better if he went than if the military had to send someone new.

"I was upset that I wouldn't be able to see him for so long, but he wanted to make sure other people were safe, not just the soldiers, but make sure Iraqis in towns around him were safe."

Army Specialist Edward L. Myers was killed in action on 07/27/05.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Army Specialist Adam J. Harting

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Army Specialist Adam J. Harting, 21, of Portage, Indiana.

Spc Harting died in Samarra, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

(CBS) PORTAGE, Ind. One of the youngest soldiers to fight in the Iraqi war was killed in the line of duty.

Adam Harting was barely old enough to legally drink. Despite his young age, he enthusiastically wanted to serve his country.

CBS 2's Suzanne LeMignot reports on a family trying to come to grips with his death.

"He believed very strongly in what he was doing. He loved his country and he loved his friends and family," said Adam’s father, Jim Harting.

Jim Harting says at the tender age of 11, his son, Army Spc. Adam Harting, wrote down his goals for his father. Enlisting in the military was one of them.

"Even in the fifth grade he pretty much had things planned out for himself. He knew exactly where he wanted to go,” Jim Harting said.

On Monday, Harting got word his 21-year-old son was dead. An explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Samarra, Iraq.

“There won't be a day that goes by that I won't think of him and miss him," Harting said.

Adam Harting was 19 years old when he was featured in Time magazine in 2003 as one of the youngest soldiers to arrive in Kuwait as part of the American invasion of Iraq. At 18, he had only been out of high school for six months when he was called to duty.

"He served proudly. He really and truly did," Jim Harting said.

Adam would have been home two months ago for good, but his tour of duty was extended. With that in mind, Adam's death is especially hard for his twin brother, Alex.

"They were one person that was split in two and, he was, he was a best friend," the boys’ father said.

Adam's father said, he feels blessed he was just able to see his son a few weeks ago. He came home for two and a half weeks and arrived to see his dad on Father's Day.

Adam Harting is the 13th member of the U.S. military from northwest Indiana killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Harting's death is also being mourned here at CBS 2. Two years ago on Mother's Day, Harting phoned home from Iraq on a CBS satellite phone.

CBS 2 cameraman John Truitt set up the call. They became friends when Harting guarded the perimeter for U.S. journalists in Baghdad.

He remembers a young Indiana kid amazed by TV news but who also was a grizzled veteran of the war.

“In this business, you meet a lot of people from all walks of life, heads of state, professional athletes, entertainers, extraordinary people. I don’t think I could think of anybody more memorable than him. He was polite, honest, engaging, very smart," Truitt said.

They saw each other just last month when Adam was on leave. At that time, Truitt gave him the CBS cap he'd worn in Iraq. The last thing he told Adam was to bring it back.

Army Specialist Adam J. Harting was killed in action on 07/25/05.


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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Army Sgt. James O. Kinlow

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Army Sgt. James O. Kinlow, 35, of Thomson, Georgia.

Sgt Kinlow died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV while he was on patrol. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade, Albany, Georgia.

Daphanie Kinlow’s eyes rimmed with tears as she looked at the sheets of notebook paper folded neatly in her lap. It was her husband’s handwriting. Seven months before, she recalled, he had summoned her and their two children into the bedroom. “Daddy wants to show y’all something,” he said.

Her husband was a member of the Georgia Army National Guard and was about to be mobilized for duty in Iraq. Ever the practical father, he had written out his own obituary and wanted to talk about final arrangements in case he didn’t come home.

“If two men in military uniforms ever come looking for you,” he warned his wife, “I’m gone. I’m dead.”

On Monday morning, they came.

Daphanie Kinlow was standing at a fax machine in the McDuffie County school offices, where she works as payroll manager, when two men in Army dress uniforms walked up and asked if they could speak to her privately.

Her husband, Sgt. James O. Kinlow, a 35-year-old truck driver in civilian life, had been killed the night before by a bomb as he drove a Humvee on patrol outside Baghdad.

Daphanie felt a sickening sense of deja vu as she remembered that day when her husband gathered the family for a talk that upset her and their children, 15-year-old Chauncey and 10-year-old Chelsea.

“It was almost as if he knew what was going to happen,” she said Wednesday, as she sat in the living room of their tidy brick home in this east Georgia town near Augusta. She was surrounded by relatives, friends and co-workers, so many of them at times that some of the young ones had to sit on the shag carpet.

An image of her husband in desert fatigues stared out from a computer screen on one side of the room. He looked younger than his years. On the other side of the room, T.D. Jakes preached from a muted TV. Daphanie noticed the religious program and smiled. “I gave James his [Jakes’] latest book for his last birthday.”

Army Sgt James O. Kinlow was killed in action on 07/24/05.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Army Sgt. Jason T. Palmerton

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Army Sgt. Jason T. Palmerton, 25, of Auburn, Nebraska.

Sgt Palmerton died in Qal'eh-Yegaz, Afghanistan, when he came under enemy small arms fire while conducting a dismounted patrol. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Palmerton enlisted in July 2002. He was a Green Beret Special Forces communication sergeant who was shot and killed July 23 while on patrol in Afghanistan. He's a native of Hamburg, Iowa. He leaves behind a fiancee. He was a 1998 graduate of Auburn High School and lived in Lincoln and took classes at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College before enlisting.

Palmerton's mother said her son was apparently getting out of his Hum Vee when he was shot. He’d been in Afghanistan just a few weeks.

Residents of Auburn are stunned. A rain-soaked flag hung outside the Palmerton home in rural Auburn Tuesday.

"He wanted a purpose and the Army gave him a purpose," said sister Amanda Palmerton. "He felt like he wasn't doing enough with his life."

Amanda Palmerton and her fiancé were planning a move to North Carolina. She said she talked to her brother about it the day before he was killed.

"He's not just my brother, but also my friend and this has been the worst thing that has ever happened to me," Palmerton said

Two members of Jason Palmerton's division spoke at Saturday's service, as well as U.S. Army Specialist Geoffrey Moore, who had known Jason since both began military careers three years ago.

All said Jason had been more than a friend; he was a brother.

"You'd talk to him for 10 minutes and you knew you were going to be his friend," Moore said.

And no matter how tough work might be, Jason could always make his fellow soldiers laugh.

"You'd always look over and see Jason smiling, loving what he was doing," Moore said.

When Jason's sister, Amanda Palmerton, came to the pulpit, she said she loved hearing the soldiers call Jason their brother.

"Because too many biological siblings don't get along," she said. "You always hear that."

Jason and Amanda had experienced their own moments growing up.

"Jason knocked out my two front teeth when we were kids, and I gave him more wedgies than I can count," Amanda said.

Jason bore a scar on his chin from when Amanda convinced him to sit on her bicycle handlebars as she rode downhill.

Still, the pair exited childhood with a great relationship.

"I was lucky to have him not just as a brother but as a friend," Amanda said.

TAPS played twice from the back of the church when the service ended. People throughout the congregation could be heard crying.

Later, friends and family gathered in the church basement, sharing memories of Jason over lunch.

Marvel Fisher, the fiance of Jason's aunt, Diana Ebirim, had met him only once, over beers, just before he left for training in Fort Bragg, N.C. It was a good time —just drinking beers, laughing and joking.

Diana remembers it differently.

She hadn't seen Jason for a year, and now he was almost done with training. Something about him—his presence—had evolved.

"I was sitting there going, ‘My nephew's a man now,'" Diana said. "‘He's grown into a man.'"

U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Kurt Dock, who recruited Jason, talked to Jason's father, Steve, during the luncheon.

"He's made an impression on me in two months like some people I've known 15 years haven't done," he told Steve. "He's about as successful as you can get."

Jason is Kurt's only enlistee who has been killed.

"It's kind of hard to swallow," he said.

Steve said he was in awe during the service when he heard Jason's fellow soldiers speak about him.

"Although I knew my son was in the berets and was part of the Army, I never knew they had so much love for each other and respect," he said. "I'm grateful my son had boys like that for his friends and comrades."

He said his heart and prayers and thoughts go out to all the other fathers who had ever done this —said goodbye to their sons like he had to say goodbye to Jason.

"He has made me the proudest man, at least for today," Steve said. "And probably forever."

Army Sgt Jason T. Palmerton was killed in action on 07/23/05.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis L. Youngblood

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Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis L. Youngblood, 26, of Surrency, Georgia.

Petty Officer Youngblood died of wounds received July 15, 2005 from an improvised explosive device during combat operations in Hit, Iraq. He was a hospital corpsman assigned to the Naval Hospital Great Lakes, Great Lakes, Illinois and deployed with the II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Elmer “Mo” Youngblood wasn’t sure why his sailor son wanted to leave relatively safe duty aboard a ship to be a combat medic in Iraq.

“For some reason or another, he wanted to be a corpsman,” Youngblood said of his son, Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis Levy Youngblood.

Travis Youngblood, 26, died Thursday in a military hospital from shrapnel wounds.

He was a medic with a Marine unit in the Iraqi town of Hit when an “improvised explosive device” sent shrapnel into his legs and throat on July 15, according to the Department of Defense.

“I was tickled to death with him being in the Navy,” Elmer Youngblood, a former Navy man, said from his home in Surrency, in southeast Georgia. “I wasn’t too happy when he basically volunteered to go over there, but it was his choice.”

Travis Youngblood grew up mostly in Virginia. He attended Appling County High School after his father moved there in the 1990s. Surrency is listed as his hometown on his Navy enlistment papers and he and his father enjoyed fishing and hunting together there.

His wife, Laura, also served in the Navy. She left the service and lives in Long Beach, N.Y.

The couple has a four-year-old son, Hunter Youngblood, and Laura Youngblood is pregnant with the couple’s second child.

Travis Youngblood served with Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), when he was wounded.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis L. Youngblood was killed in action on 07/21/05.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Army Staff Sgt. Jorge L. Pena-Romero

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Army Staff Sgt. Jorge L. Pena-Romero, 29, of Fallbrook, California.

SSG Pena-Romero died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV while his unit was conducting a mounted patrol. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, California.

Staff Sgt. Jorge Luis Pena-Romero was known for staying cool and lifting the spirits of people around him.

“You couldn’t ask for a better non-commissioned officer,” said Sgt. Jason Morris, a friend of Pena-Romero at the base. “As an individual, this guy was incredible — easy to talk to, always had some kind of smile on his face, always knew how to lighten people’s moods.”

Morris also said his friend was extremely reliable and always kept his word.

Pena-Romero was a machine gunner who had been in the Army since 1995.

“He was well-liked, and he was a mentor to many of the guys in the troop,” said Lindsey Keys, whose husband is the commander of Pena-Romero’s unit.

Pena-Romero is survived by his wife, Melissa, and three children.

Army Staff Sgt. Jorge L. Pena-Romero was killed in action on 07/16/05.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Army Pfc. Timothy J. Hines Jr.

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Army Pfc. Timothy J. Hines Jr., 21, of Fairfield, Ohio.

Pfc Hines was assigned to the 64th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas; died July 14 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., of wounds sustained on June 19 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee in Baghdad

Tim Hines, a 2002 Cincinnati Christian School graduate, was mortally wounded in Iraq on Father’s Day when his convoy was attacked by a roadside bomb along an Iraqi highway. He died nearly a month later at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and was interred at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.

Mrs. Hines is showing people she is doing fine, although she does stay up at times thinking of her best friend and husband.

“My kids take up a lot of my time and they are extremely important to me. Around them and other people, I put the smile on my face,” Hines said. “There are highs and lows. There’s nothing I can do with what happened this year. I can keep getting through each day; to live life to its fullest.”

Hines said she will visit her husband’s gravesite this holiday without her children because, “How do you explain to your 3-year-old where you’re going and what you’re doing?”

Katy and Tim Hines had two children together, Lily and Noah, 4 months. She gave birth to Noah a month after Tim died.

“I can’t let the kids miss on a Christmas,” said Hines, about the importance of the holiday this year. “We put up a tree with Lily, and she helped me decorate it.”

It didn’t seem right not to hang Tim’s stocking, either, she said.

“It’s never going to be the same. My life and my kids’ life should not be brought down because of what happened. We’re not getting over it, we’re just getting through it.”

Army Pfc Timothy J. Hines Jr. was killed in action 07/14/05.

Army Staff Sgt. Tricia L. Jameson

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Army Staff Sgt. Tricia L. Jameson, 34, of Omaha, Nebraska.

SSG Jameson died in Trebil, Iraq. Jameson, a health care specialist was responding to a casualty incident when a secondary improvised explosive device detonated near her location. She was assigned to 313th Medical Company, Army National Guard, Lincoln, Nebraska.

SSG Jameson is remembered as someone who was dedicated to helping others. That's what Tricia Jameson was doing when she died last week.

The 34-year-old Jameson was serving as a medic in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded near her ambulance.

Friends like Holly Freeman say Tricia thrived on adventure.

Holly says the two of them would push themselves to the limit when they would go skiing, "getting-up early, wearing yourself out, then going out and doing it again the next day."

Tricia applied that same sense of adventure to her job as an Army medic.

"She did, definitely. Wanted to go get her hands on some serious injuries and fix some things."

Tricia was killed by what the military refers to as an IED or improvised explosive device. At the time she was on her way to help a wounded solider. A similar incident last week killed another Army medic from Omaha. Eric Woods left behind a wife and a young son.

Ms. Freeman says, "The more we told her we didn't want her to go, the more she wanted to go."

Friends say Tricia loved to help people. When on leave she worked with developmentally disabled children.

Holly says, "She even carried a big huge medical kit in her car. She would have everything in there in case of a wreck or something. She would call me and say, 'I almost got to help someone but someone beat me there.' It's what she wanted."

Tricia Jameson graduated from Millard South High School in 1989.

Army Staff Sgt Tricia L. Jameson was killed in action on 07/14/05.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Army Sgt. Timothy J. Sutton

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Army Sgt. Timothy J. Sutton, 22, of Springfield, Missouri.

Sgt Sutton died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his HMMWV struck a land mine. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado.

Sgt Sutton was on his second tour of duty had matured during his first stint there, one of Sgt. Timothy J. Sutton’s former teachers said.

“He was not much of a patriot before he left, but he was when he got back,” said Richard Faber, who taught computer-aided drafting to Sutton at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield. “He was a lot more mature and serious.”

Sutton, 22, of Fordland, had returned from Iraq in May 2004 and went back in March. He was killed Monday in Baghdad when the Humvee he was driving struck a land mine, the Defense Department said. Sutton, assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, usually served as a gunner in a tank that swept for mines.

His unit is based at Fort Carson, Colo., which has lost six soldiers this month.

The soldier’s father, Bill Sutton of Fordland, had talked to him Sunday about what was to be one last mission. Sutton didn’t mention details, and his father didn’t ask.

“He was really up in spirits because he was getting ready to go home on leave,” the elder Sutton said.

Bill Sutton said his son was proud of the U.S. effort in Iraq and devoted to the soldiers serving under him.

“He would go out of his way to help them out and do whatever it takes to make them comfortable,” he said.

Sutton, a 2001 graduate of Fordland High School, spent two years studying drafting and design at Ozark Tech before joining the Army. His aunt, Becky Dalton of Fordland, said continuing his schooling under the GI Bill was one his motivations for enlisting.

Former teachers at the technical school remember Sutton as an energetic student who was serious about a career in drafting.

“He was always ready for fun, but he had his eye on what he wanted to do,” said Murl Darby, a drafting and design instructor. “He was always full of energy and ideas and fun to be around.”

Faber called Sutton a talented artist who turned out to be one of his best students.

“The artist’s eye — he had that gift,” Faber said.

After his return from Iraq last year, Sutton married his wife, Angela, and introduced her to one of his favorite pastimes — hunting. The couple married in December, and Angela Sutton lives in Colorado Springs.

Faber said Sutton hated the sand in Iraq, but felt obligated to go back there.

“He had a sense of duty,” he said.

Family members said Sutton’s mother was killed in a traffic accident when he was about 2, and he had been living in Fordland with his aunt. Dalton said he re-enlisted in the Army prior to deployment to Iraq in March.

“They gave him a good deal,” she said. “He knew he was going to be redeployed and he knew he had to be there anyway.” She said she believed bonus pay and family medical benefits also were a factor in his decision.

“Things change when you get married,” she said. “And when you’re over there, you have a lot of time to think.”

Army Sgt Timothy J. Sutton was killed in acton on 07/11/05.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Army Pfc. Eric P. Woods

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Army Pfc. Eric P. Woods, 26, of Omaha, Nebraska.

Pfc Woods died in Tal Afar, Iraq, when his HMMWV struck an improvised explosive device that caused the vehicle to overturn. Woods was in the area to evacuate another soldier who had been wounded. He was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado.

Fallen medic from Urbandale
'went above and beyond'

July 11, 2005

In life, U.S. Army medic Pfc. Eric Paul Woods cared for others, his family said Sunday.

The 26-year-old private first class from Omaha was killed Saturday about 6:20 a.m. Iraq time while traveling to help a wounded soldier. He was the 31st Iowan to be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Gregory Hapgood, the Iowa National Guard's public affairs officer, said Woods was near Tal Afar, Iraq, when an explosive device detonated under his vehicle. The vehicle flipped and Woods was killed. No information was available on whether there were others in the vehicle.

Woods grew up in Urbandale, where his parents, Chuck and Jan Woods, still live. Jan Woods talked to her son on Friday, about 15 hours before he died.

She said he told her he was doing OK and he talked about coming home in September. But later that day, Jan Woods got the feeling that something was wrong.

Jan Woods said that they tried to send a letter and at least one package to their son each week. At his request, the packages contained toys, candy and soccer balls for the children in Iraq. The couple also sent items that Eric said would help other soldiers: foot powder, moist towelettes and lip balm.

"As a medic he would hand that out," Chuck Woods said. "He went above and beyond."

Woods joined the Army in April 2004 and was sent to Iraq in March. His parents said that he and his wife, Jamie, were concerned about the war, but they made the decision together.

His family said he planned to become a physician's assistant.

"He had a lot of things left to do in life," Jan Woods said.

Bob Stouffer, superintendent at Des Moines Christian School, was principal at Urbandale High School when Eric Woods graduated in 1997.

"It doesn't surprise me that his death comes as he was serving his country and helping someone else," Stouffer said.

Army Pfc Eric P Woods was killed in action of 07/09/05.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Army Specialist Christopher W. Dickison

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Army Specialist Christopher W. Dickison, 26, of Seattle, Washington.

Spc. Dickison was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; killed July 5 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his patrol in Baqubah, Iraq.

Christopher W. Dickison had matured since joining the military and couldn't wait to get home and marry the love of his life, Magdalene Hasenkamp.

"He found himself. He was happy with Christopher. He grew up. He became a man," said his mother, Leanna. "He was so looking forward to getting out of the military, getting married and just settling down."

Dickison, 26, of Seattle, was killed July 5 in Baqubah when an explosive detonated near his patrol. He was based at Fort Riley.

Dickison, a twin and one of six children, spent much of his childhood playing baseball, soccer and practicing tae kwon do, his mother said. After getting his GED, he went to work for a trucking company, then as a mechanic at Sears.

He joined the Army in 2002 because he "wanted to get out on his own. He wanted to get away from his older brothers and sisters to test the water," his mother said. He was to be discharged from the military next year and wanted to go to school and become an engineer because of what he had seen them do in the Army, said his father, Rodney.

Army Specialist Christopher W. Dickison was killed in action on 07/05/05.

Army Sgt. Deyson K. Cariaga

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Army Sgt. Deyson K. Cariaga, 20, of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Sgt Cariaga died in Al Hammadi, Iraq, when the HMMWV in which he was riding struck a land mine. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 229th Military Intelligence Company, 29th Separate Infantry Brigade, Oahu, Kalaeloa, Hawaii.

Sgt. Deyson Ken "Dice" Cariaga was remembered for his smile, his heroism and his kind heart at a memorial service last night for the 2002 Roosevelt High School graduate.

"He was a true kid at heart," Cariaga's uncle Clayton Akatsuka told the crowd of about 400 at Mission Memorial Auditorium. "He had a genuine contagious laughter and a million-dollar smile that was a window into the beautiful person he was inside."

The hour-long service was attended by Gov. Linda Lingle, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and other local leaders. Also in attendance were many former Roosevelt classmates and police officers. Cariaga's mother and stepfather work for the Honolulu Police Department.

"Even if we were down, he could always make us smile," Justen Laupola, who served with Cariaga in the 29th Brigade Combat Team's 229th Military Intelligence Company, said after the service. Cariaga was the first isle National Guardsman killed in Iraq.

He was "a real local boy who loved surfing and always wore a smile," Laupola said.

Cariaga's friend Tiffany Roloos said, "He always had a way of letting people know things would be all right."

Cariaga's unit was deployed earlier this year and scheduled to return in February. He was a ground surveillance systems operator. He was killed July 8 in Balad when a homemade bomb was detonated near his Humvee, just 20 days shy of his 21st birthday.

"He was not a victim of war ... he was a hero," Brig. Gen. Vern Miyagi said in a eulogy.

Maj. Suzanne Vares-Lum noted, "He died doing a job he loved: gathering information to save the lives of others."

Sgt. Justin Lui, who trained with him since the first day Cariaga joined the service, recalled their annual training in Kahuku.

"We would talk about the future, relationships and school," he said after the memorial.

Lui said Cariaga was considering becoming a firefighter.

"He was a very motivated and driven soldier ... always thinking ahead," said Joni Kaoiwi, the wife of Maj. Moses Kaoiwi, who was in charge of Cariaga's unit.

Akatsuka said when Cariaga won his first judo trophy, it sparked his competitive spirit and taught him about hard work and perseverance.

During Cariaga's career in JROTC, he garnered honors such as Outstanding Cadet of the Year in 1999 and Outstanding Ranger of the Year in 2000.

Cariaga is survived by brother Lance, father Rodney, mother Theresa Inouye, stepfather Jerry Inouye and grandparents Roland and Haruko Akatsuka and Margaret Boydston.

He will posthumously receive the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Army Sgt. Deyson K. Cariaga was killed in action on 07/05/05.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy A. Brown

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Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy A. Brown, 26, of Mabscott, W.Va.

SSgt Brown was assigned to the 66th Military Intelligence Company, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.; died July 3, 2005 in Mosul, Iraq, of injuries sustained earlier that day when the Humvee in which he was riding accidentally rolled over in Tal Afar, Iraq.

Soldier killed while on second tour in Iraq
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia soldier from the Fort Carson, Colo.-based 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment has died from injuries he suffered when a Humvee rolled over.

Staff Sgt. Jeremy A. Brown, 26, of Mabscott died Sunday in Mosul, according to the U.S. Army.

He was assigned to the 66th Military Intelligence Company of the 3rd Armored Cavalry. At least 57 soldiers from his post in Colorado Springs, Colo., have died in Iraq. Another 68 soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which will move to Fort Carson when its current tour in Iraq is over, have died there.

Teresa Brown said Tuesday that her son was riding in the gunner’s position on the Humvee and was killed instantly when it rolled on top of him and crushed him.

“We don’t know how it flipped,” Teresa Brown said. “Everyone says that a staff sergeant isn’t supposed to be a gunner but Jeremy would have taken over any job and done it if his men were sick or injured.”

As Brown was preparing to leave for his second tour of duty in Iraq, he told his mother that he had a responsibility to the younger soldiers who would see war for the first time.

“He said, ‘I have to go. I have to,”’ she said. “He said, ’Mom, I don’t know if you realize this or not, but there are 18- and 19-year-old kids who are going to be scared. I’m a veteran.”’

Brown was in Iraq for most of 2003 and part of 2004, then came back to the United States for a year. He returned to Iraq in February. Brown’s mother said he was scheduled to leave the military in October 2006.

As strongly as Jeremy Brown wanted to join the military as a teenager fresh out of Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, he wanted to leave it next year to be a dad, according to his family. He met his wife, Rosemary, also an Iraq veteran, in Korea. They were married in January 2003, before his first tour in Iraq.

Tuesday was the day the couple were supposed to close on their new home in Fredericksburg, Va. His son from a previous relationship lives in Ohio with his mother.

Army officials visited Teresa Brown’s home Monday morning to deliver the news as family members were gathering for Independence Day events. The Fourth of July is changed forever, she said.

“It was shocking ... one of those things you never want to deal with.” She said she was comforted to know he didn’t suffer. “He would have never wanted to be captured or shot or come back home missing limbs.”

Brown also is survived by two brothers, including a twin, Jason.

Jason Brown said he encouraged his brother to stay in the military for another 10 years so he could retire and move on to another career.

“He told me that if it wasn’t for the time away from his son he wouldn’t mind spending time over there. He felt like he was doing some good over there,” Jason Brown said.

Brown’s body will be returned to Raleigh County for burial, his mother said.

Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy A. Brown was killed in a vehicle rollover on 7/3/05.