Saturday, December 16, 2006

Army Staff Sgt. David R. Staats

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. David R. Staats, 30, of Pueblo, Colo.

SSgt. Staats was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died 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 Pfc. Seth M. Stanton.

Rocky Mountain News --

Arizona members of David R. Staats' family had a premonition of his death for the past week. "Everyone had a gut feeling . . . but no one could figure out why," said his sister, Bethany Staats, of Glendale, Ariz.

"When my parents walked in the house (with the news), I just knew. It blew us away."

Staff Sgt. David R. Staats, 30, of Colorado Springs, was killed Saturday when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee while on patrol in Taji, Iraq.

Another Coloradan, Pfc. Seth Stanton, 19, also of Colorado Springs, was killed in the same attack.

Both were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division based in Fort Hood, Texas.

Born in Norfolk, Va., David Staats graduated from Cactus High School in Glendale, Ariz. in 1995, and immediately enlisted in the Army.

"His dad was in the Air Force and he idolized him, but he chose Army," said his sister.

In 2002, Staats was sent to Kuwait, where he did a year's tour. The next year he was sent to Iraq.

When he returned after a year's stint, he decided to leave the military.

"The military changed him," said Bethany Staats.

"He was quiet, he was more serious. He was more in control of his emotions . . ."

David Staats worked as a civilian mechanic for a time, but decided to re-enlist with the Army last year.

"He didn't like civilian life," said Bethany Staats.

"He liked the military - that was his life. It was in his blood."

David Staats was in his sixth week of deployment when he was killed.

"He was an amazing person," Bethany Staats said.

"He was always there when you needed him. He helped raise my daughter the first three years I had her.

"She was his pride and joy for a while."

Bethany Staats said the family will have a separate funeral service for him in Arizona, but David Staats will be buried in Colorado.

"David had called Colorado home," said his sister. "He loved Colorado."

David Staats is survived by his wife, Meagan Staats of Colorado Springs, his son from a previous marriage, Tyler David Staats of Glendale, Ariz., and his parents, Roger and Wanda Staats of Peoria, Ariz., as well as his sister.

Army Staff Sgt. David R. Staats was killed in action on 12/16/06.

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