Saturday, July 28, 2007

MSG James 'Tre' Ponder ~ Night Stalker

MSG James W. Ponder, III

Master Sergeant James “Tre” Ponder died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations. He was a member of the Army 160th SOAR.

He was born June 24, 1969 in Alabama, and was a native of Clarksville, Tenn.

MSG Ponder joined the Army in March 1990 as a Chinook helicopter repairer. After graduating from Basic Training, Fort Eustis, Va., he was assigned to Camp Humphries, Korea. He arrived at the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in December, 1992, and served in a variety of positions, including 2nd Battalion, 160th Flight Engineer instructor, 2nd Bn Standardization Instructor, and Regiment Standardization Instructor. This was his fourth rotation to Afghanistan.

Ponder’s military schools include: the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Combat Lifesavers Course, Survival Evade Resist Escape Level-C Course, the Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course, the Equal Opportunity Representative Course, the Air Assault, Airborne, and the Army Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course.

His awards and decorations include: the Air Medal with Valorous device, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Valorous Unit Award, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Good Conduct Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Overseas Service Ribbon. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal and an Air Medal with Valor device.

Ponder is survived by his wife Leslie of Clarksville, Tenn., and two daughters, Samantha, and Elizabeth.

Tribute from the Night Stalkers site.

To read all of the tributes, please click here.


Anonymous said...

Just saw Leslie Ponder on the 2008 CMA introducing a song by Carrie Underwood that has helped her cope with her loss. Ironically, June 28 is my birthday and from now on I will remember 'Tre' on that day and honor his service. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice.

Chuck aka Tully Mars said...

Saw Tre's wife tonight on the CMA awards. Her comments before Carrie Underwood's great song left me with some tears in my eyes. Thank You Tre for your sacrafice for our freedom. Til we meet again on Fiddler's Green

jason said...

Every time I see this picture, I remember the long days at soccer practice, Me, You, Bobby, Chance...the look on Coach Schrocks face as we completely destroyed eachother trying to see who could take the most pain. I hear your father yelling "Tre' put him down!" after someone blindsighted me at a travel team tournament and you had my back. I have such deep respect for your family and how they are getting through this. I remembered you with every round fired on my last tour..and will do so again on this coming tour. I wish I could bring you back. You're ten times the man most of us walking this earth are. I will hit them back every time they give me an opportunity. I will not rest until they tell me it's o.k. to. I know vengeance is not God's way. It's mine.
You are missed.
Scouts Out!

Anonymous said...

Thank u so much for remembering Tre. I am one of his family members and miss him a lot. Once again thanks sooooooooo much. Love and miss u Tre!!!!

tomandgeniese said...

It was an honor to cheer the Wounded Warriors on as they rode over the finish line at BGA!
It was great to see your family!
We have many happy memories.
God bless you all!
Coach Tom and Geniese Gilman for our family