Sunday, December 17, 2006

Army Pfc. Seth M. Stanton

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Seth M. Stanton, 19, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Dec. 17 in Balad, Iraq, of injuries sustained when his Humvee struck an improvised explosive device while on mounted patrol Dec. 16 in Taji, Iraq. Also killed were: Spc. Matthew J. Stanley and Staff Sgt. David R. Staats.

Bombing in Iraq kills Colorado soldier
By Tillie Fong, Rocky Mountain News
December 19, 2006

Seth Stanton was text-messaging his uncle, Eric DeMello, a few hours before he went on patrol with his unit in Taji, Iraq.

"My son (Eric) was telling him to be safe and be careful and to keep warm, because it was cold there," said Stanton's grandfather, Joe DeMello, of Woodland Park.

Pfc. Stanton, 19, of Colorado City, died early Sunday from injuries he suffered Saturday when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb.

"He was the commander of a patrol in Taji and he was in the lead vehicle," his grandfather said. "There were three other soldiers in the vehicle, and they were all killed."

Stanton was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas.

Stanton's mother, Anna, of Colorado City, received a call Saturday saying that he was injured and that he was in serious but stable condition. The Army was planning to transport him back to the United States for care, DeMello said. But on Sunday, two soldiers arrived to tell her that her son was dead.

Stanton was born in Woodland Park; his grandmother, Georgell Stanton, served as midwife. He moved to Colorado City when he was 4 and was home-schooled, except for his junior year in high school, when he attended Coronado High School in Colorado Springs.

"He got such good marks that they considered him a senior," said his grandfather, adding that Stanton graduated in 2005.

Stanton enlisted in the Army after graduation. He left for basic training in June 2005. DeMello recalled his apprehension when he saw his grandson before he left.

"My grandkids call me 'Pa' and he said, 'Pa, what do you think of my joining the Army?' And I told him, 'It would be the greatest thing that would happen to you except at this time, because there was an Iraq war going,' " DeMello said.

But that didn't deter Stanton, who was inspired by his uncle, Eric DeMello, an Army veteran who fought in the first Gulf War.

"He was a soldier and he wanted to do his duty," his grandfather said.

DeMello said his grandson loved off-roading with friends and playing paintball. He also loved spending time with his two younger brothers, Nathan, 16, and Dylan, 9.

DeMello said his grandson had planned to go to college after his Army stint but didn't know what he wanted to study yet.

Stanton enjoyed life, his grandfather said. "I remember his outgoing personality, his zest for life," he said. "He made friends with a smile."

A military funeral in Colorado Springs is pending next week at New Life Church.

Army Pfc. Seth M. Stanton was killed in action on 12/17/06.

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