Oregon has lost another of its sons, SFC John 'Scott" Stephens. Stephens died March 15 of wounds suffered when his patrol came under attack in Tikrit, Iraq. He served with the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. He served as a medic and a trained others to be medics. He had served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield and multiple tours to Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Known to family and friends as Scott, he was born in Prineville, Oregon and raised in La Grande, Oregon. In high school he was known for his sports - baseball, football, swim team - and his academic prowess. He often tutored his classmates. He continued his education in the Army and completed his master's degree in education two years ago. He planned to eventually become a teacher and a coach.
Typically, he was involved in teaching at the time of his death. He was part of a group training Iraqi soldiers. He was training the medics.
Scott loved sports - the Bengals and the Braves - hunting, fishing, trapping and enjoying the beauty of Eastern Oregon. He loved his country, and was known to tear up when he heard the National Anthem. And, he loved his family.
SFC Stephens is survived by his wife, Bea, and children, Brian, Cheryl and Darren; his parents, Gene and Jo Stephens of La Grande; a sister, Michelle Flowers of Hermiston; nephews, Tyler and Sean Flowers; grandmother, Gayle Stephens of La Grande; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
A memorial service was held at Fort Riley, Kansas today. The service and internment in La Grande, Oregon will be on March 26. The Patriot Guard Riders will be escorting SFC Stephens.
A message from his sister: i sat here and cried and cried because there are so many people out there that love our servicemen and women. it's good to know that people can make you feel good at a time like this because of their appreciation for what he did and what he stood for. i know in my heart that my brother loved what he did. he told me over and over again how much he loved it and it makes me feel better knowing that..... Michelle Stephens Flowers.
SFC John Scott Stephens gave his life for our country. We keep his family and friends in our prayers at this difficult time.
Freedom Isn't Free ~ Someone Pays for You and Me.