Monday, December 03, 2007

Army Sgt. Kyle Dayton

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Kyle Dayton, 22, of El Dorado Hills, Calif.

Sgt. Dayton was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Dec. 3, 2007 in Ashwah, Iraq, of injuries sustained in a non-combat-related incident.

El Dorado Hills soldier killed by vehicle explosion in Iraq

The Associated Press

EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. — A 22-year-old paratrooper from El Dorado Hills who died following an explosion in Iraq was killed before he ever had the chance to meet his 3½-month-old son.

“The one thing I really wish he could have done was hold our son, Sean, just once,” Nicole Dayton told The Sacramento Bee of her husband, Sgt. Kyle Dayton. “He was so excited about becoming a daddy.”

Dayton died Dec. 3 in Anbar province when his unit responded to a logistics convoy accident and one of the vehicles unexpectedly ignited, the Department of Defense said Dec. 5. The accident is under investigation.

Dayton was on his second deployment to the Middle East. He was an infantry team leader with the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Nicole met Kyle Dayton in high school in California, and she moved to North Carolina to be with him when he returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan. They married soon after, and he left for Iraq in June.

“From the first conversation we had, I knew I wanted to be part of his life,” she recalled. “When I was pregnant, Kyle went out at 11 p.m. and used his last two dollars to get me the Dairy Queen hot dogs I just couldn’t live without.”

Dayton joined the Army in October 2003. During his time in the service, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal.

“Dayton’s personality, professionalism, and approach to leadership was a part of the soul of this company and of this battalion,” said Staff Sgt. Geoffrey Creel, a squad leader in the same company as Dayton. “Just as it is with everything lost, you only realize how important that part was, once it is gone. Dayton was a large part of us, of our family.”

James Banuelos recalled his high school best friend as “the most loyal person I ever met — stubborn as hell, but loyal. ... When he thought he was right, he would fight to the death to make sure people knew he was right.”

Army Sgt. Kyle Dayton was killed in a non-combat related incident on 12/03/07.

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