Monday, March 01, 2010

Army Spc. Ian T.D. Gelig

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Ian T.D. Gelig, 25, of Stevenson Ranch, Calif.

Spc. Gelig was assigned to the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died March 1, 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

A soldier from Stevenson Ranch who graduated from Hart High School was killed in Afghanistan on Monday - the first soldier from the Santa Clarita Valley killed in the Middle East in almost two years.

Paratrooper Ian Gelig, 25, of the 82nd Airborne Division was on a routine patrol in southern Afghanistan when a roadside bomb exploded near the vehicle he was riding in, said Major Brian Fickel, an Army spokesman.

Gelig had been serving in Afghanistan since September.

Fickel said he didn't have more information about the incident on Tuesday.

When contacted, Tim Gelig said his family was grieving and wasn't ready to comment. Paul Gelig, Ian's uncle, said in an e-mail that he is traveling from the Philippines and will be in Santa Clarita this weekend to be with the family.

Paratrooper David Tryon, who served with Gelig, said in the release, "Gelig was a good friend and great person. He was always there for you when you needed something. He will be deeply missed by everyone in this unit, for a piece of us went with him."

"Gelig will always be with us," Pvt. Antonio Santos, a paratrooper from Alpha Company, said in the release. "From the day you arrived, you touched everyone's heart. You made us laugh, you made us smile, and you kept us from falling apart."

Gelig is the 11th soldier from the SCV killed in either Iraq or Afghanistan since 2002, according to a list kept by Blue Star Mothers, a support group for families that have children serving in the military.

Gelig enlisted in the Army in October 2006. After completing basic training in July 2007, he was sent to Kuwait for a 15-month tour of duty, according to the release.

His unit will hold a memorial service in Afghanistan in his honor, Fickel said.

Gelig's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Basic Parachutist Badge.

Gelig is survived by his parents, Tim and Delia Gelig, and his sisters, Vanessa and Liana.

Army Spc. Ian T.D. Gelig was killed in action on 3/1/10.

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