Saturday, September 01, 2007

Helicopter Crash Claims 14 Soldiers in Iraq

When a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Iraq last week, we were all stunned with the loss of 14 Soldiers in this accident. These are their faces. God Bless them all. May they all walk peacefully with God. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.


Soldiers lost from the 4th Squadron, 6th US Air Cavalry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington, were the crew of the helicopter.
Captain Corry P Tyler, 29, of Georgia

CPT Correy Tyler graduated from Camden High School at the top of his class and then went on to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was on his third deployment to Iraq, is survived by his wife, Kathy, and three small children in the Tacoma area, and his mother. When his father died last year, he was given the opportunity to opt out of combat service, but he did not choose that option. Tyler hoped to go to medical school and become an Army physician. He was to have heard soon if he had been accepted.

Chief Warrant Officer Paul J Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, North Carolina

CWO Paul Flynn was a native of Gibsonville, N.C. He had been in the Army 10 years and was on his first tour in Iraq. He was helping to pilot the helicopter when it went down. "He taught me how to laugh as a teacher, how to have a good sense of humor," Tim Riggs told The Times-News of Burlington. "(His death) hit me real hard."

Sergeant Matthew L Tallman, 30, of Groveland, California

SGT Matthew Tallman was a seven-year veteran of the military finally poised for the promotion he'd sought after seeing a need for leaders to guide young people just entering the service. "He loved what he did, and died doing what he wanted," his wife, Nicole Tallman, told The Modesto Bee. "He was enjoying the fact that he was in a leadership role."

Specialist Rickey L Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Missouri

SPC Rickey Bell was from a tiny town in Missouri. "He was just awesome in everything. He loved everybody and everybody loved him," said friend, Farrah Boyd. "He was just a young, full of energy, vivacious fella who loved life and lived everyday loving life," said Caruthersville Mayor, Diane Sayre. "He loved it, he itched every time he came home to go back. He wouldn't be here a weekend til he was ready to go back. He loved the military," said Boyd.

Soldiers lost from the 2nd battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3td Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Captain Derek A Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

CPT Derek Dobogai was one of the top students in his high school class when he graduated in 1999 from of Winnebago Lutheran Academy. The Rev. Rick Zahn, who is on the academy faculty, remembered Dobogai as a track and cross country athlete, as well as a student who was recognized for his good grades. "It was Derek's dream to serve America, and his life ended during this service." He had been selected to serve in the Army's elite Special Forces.

Capt. Dobogai was a great man. No matter the situation, he always made an effort to find a solution. At no time did I ever hear him say something negative about a fellow soldier. He was just easy to talk to, whatever subject, be it working out (his favorite) or just some random off-the-wall topic. There are so many things to say about a man like Capt. "D." He was smart, funny, energetic but most of all he was a friend to all. You will truly be missed.
Staff Sergeant Jason L Paton, 25, of Poway, California
SSG Jason Patonwas a 2000 graduate of Poway High School. His family said after his scheduled homecoming, he had planned to resume his military career as a training officer with the Army Rangers. He served three separate tours: one in Afghanistan and two in Iraq. His family said he had an incredible zeal for life. He loved the outdoors, including camping, surfing, and off-roading. And his bravery extended well beyond his three tours of duty with the Army. His stepfather recalled how he proposed to his fiancée last March. She was a softball player at UCSD. "Jason proposed to her over the PA system," said his stepfather, Jim Valenzuela. Paton last spoke to his mother by phone on Monday. He talked about his excitement about coming home to see everyone and to get married in November.

Staff Sgt. Paton was a proven combat leader with great compassion for his men. I spoke to him almost daily, and every time we spoke, he lifted me up with motivation. He was both tactically and technically proficient at his job, and took the time to teach soldiers what he knew.
Sergeant Garrett I McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas
SGR Garrett McLead was on his second tour in the Middle East. He was a 2002 graduate of Rockport-Fulton High School who enjoyed surfing and played varsity tennis and soccer in high school.
Sgt. McLead was a hard-working NCO. He was always looking for ways to excel at his job. He never let his soldiers down. He always led by example by taking the hard right instead of the easy wrong.
Corporal Jeremy P Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Massachusetts
CPL Jeremy Bouffard was married and had a son. He was applying for warrant officer school and helicopter pilot training, his family said. "He chose to serve out of a sense of honor and commitment to the ideals of our nation. His job was difficult, but he was content with himself, his family and his life," read a statement issued Aug. 23 by the Bouffard family. "He was clear-headed and positive about his future. We celebrate his life even as we mourn his loss."

Cpl. Bouffard was a great young soldier with a lot of heart. Every time I saw him, he was smiling. His dedication to his men was evident every day.

Corporal Phillip J Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Illinois
CPL Phillip Brodnick graduated from Lincoln-Way East High School, where he competed on the wrestling team. Along the way, Brodnick took turns playing soccer, baseball and the drums. As Brodnick approached graduation, he told his mother that he wanted to enlist, like both of his grandfathers and great-uncles. After graduating in 2000, Brodnick went into the Army and was sent to Kosovo for two years, and got out in 2002. He reenlisted in 2005.
Cpl. Brodnick was a leader that other young junior noncommissioned officers could look up to. He always excelled at his job and never let his soldiers down.

Corporal Joshua S Harmon, 20, of Mentor, Ohio
CPL Joshua Harmon served as a Combat Medic attached to the Scouts Sniper Platoon and received the Army Medal of Commendation of Valor for performing extraordinary life-saving measures. Additionally, Joshua was awarded the Combat Medical Badge. He married Kristin Rathjen May 10, 2007.
Joshua said, "I just stay focused on my job as platoon medic to make sure my soldiers are taken care of night and day. Sometimes it is a tiring job, but I have found great pride and satisfaction in performing."

Cpl. Harmon was a young junior noncommissioned officer who was full of life and always willing to learn more about his job. He never let his seniors, peers or subordinates down when he was in charge of any mission. Cpl. Harmon will be missed by those who knew him, his fellow NCOs and soldiers.
Corporal Nathan C Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, California

Cpl. Hubbard was one of the most motivated soldiers I've had the honor of knowing. Where you found Nathan, you could always find his brother Jason. The two of them always pushed each other to only be that much better.

Specialist Michael A Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pennsylvania

SPC Hook had been in Iraq for almost a year on his first tour, said his father, Larry Hook. "He died doing what he wanted to do," Larry Hook told the Altoona Mirror in Thursday's editions. "But it's been pretty devastating." He said Hook's fiancee is pregnant.

Whenever I saw Spc. Hook he always was in a good mood with a smile on his face. His personality and presence was contagious to everyone around him. A great soldier and a great friend to his fellow soldiers, everyone could count on him to be there when needed without gripe. A true patriot, a great person.

SPC Jessy G Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Missouri
Jessy Pollard had wanted to be a soldier for a long time and after high school he joined the army and volunteered for Ranger school. Physically, he was such a big guy, that he served as a back-up for the commanding officer of his platoon. He shipped out late last year and surprised his family just weeks ago when he came home for a short leave. He was thinking about becoming a career soldier. His family said he believed in what he was doing.
Cpl. Pollard was exceptionally motivated to be the best at everything he set his mind to. I remember talking to him about Ranger School on numerous occasions. His dream was to be a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces. He was well on his way to Ranger School after becoming a member of the Scout Platoon.
Specialist Tyler R Seideman, 20, of Lincoln, Arkansas

SPC Tyler Seideman graduated from Lincoln High School and attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville before enlisting in the Army.

Spc. Seideman was highly motivated to accomplish any mission. He was looked up to by his peers and subordinates alike.


To Read More Tributes about each of these men from their fellow soldiers:


Jennifer said...

What a beautiful tribute, thank you! It was hard to read without my tissues handy. To us, they are heroes, to the dems they are just another body count.

I can only thand God for these amazing men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.

Sarge Charlie said...

so sad, they are so young..