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10-13-07, 05:18 PM #1
12 GI's Laid to rest in Arlington
The horse-drawn caisson wound slowly down Bradley Drive at Arlington National Cemetery, carrying a single flag-draped casket containing the remains of 12 soldiers whose helicopter was blown out of the skies over Iraq last January.
Five Black Hawk helicopters flew over the cemetery and an Army band played "America the Beautiful" for the hundreds of mourners who turned out this morning to pay their final respects to the 11 men and one woman, 10 of them National Guard members, who died Jan. 12 when their Black Hawk was shot down northeast of Baghdad in Diyala Province. It was the largest number of Guard members killed in a combat mission since the Korean War.
A brisk autumn breeze drowned out the words of the brief graveside service in which folded American flags were presented to relatives of the fallen soldiers.
1. Col. Brian Allgood, 46, of Oklahoma was the top American medical officer in Iraq. An orthopedic surgeon, he was a graduate of West Point and the University of Oklahoma Medical School. "He was very brilliant," his mother told the Colorado Springs Gazette. Allgood is survived by his widow, Jane, also a West Point graduate, and their son, Wyatt, 11. "It's just going to be very empty, for forever," his mother told KKTV.
2. Staff Sgt. Darryl Booker, 37, of Midlothian, Va., was a military air-traffic controller with the Virginia Army National Guard, which he joined in 1987. He had served in Iraq and in Bosnia prior to his final deployment to Iraq. "He made a choice and made the best of his choice," his father told the Newport News Daily Press. Booker is survived by his widow, Jeanne, and five children, Derica, Shata, Dante, Marcus, and Maurice.
3. Sgt. 1st Class John Brown, 43, of Little Rock, Ark., worked for a tire supply company when he wasn't serving as a member of the Arkansas Army National Guard. Brown, who was in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, had just returned from a two-week home leave in which he grilled with his family, rooted for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and ran errands. He leaves his widow, Donna, and two stepdaughters.
4. Lt. Col. David Canegata III, 50, of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, was with the Virgin Islands Army National Guard. On his last birthday, he gave his family a booklet with a timeline of his life from birth, with pictures and scriptures. "I believe he left this booklet to prepare us," his sister told the Virgin Islands Daily News. Canegata is survived by his widow, Shenneth, and four children, Nicole, David-Mychal, Andre, and Jessica.
5. Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, Iowa, was the first woman in the Iowa Army National Guard to attain the rank of command sergeant major. "I think she relished having soldiers look up to her," another member of the Iowa Guard told the Cedar Rapids Gazette. She was also the first woman in the Iowa Guard to be killed in combat. She is survived by her husband, Edward, and a daughter, a stepson, and five stepdaughters.
6. Command Sgt. Maj. Roger Haller, 49, of Davidsonville, Md., served in the Maryland Army National Guard for 24 years. He is survived by two daughters, Morgan, and Kathryn, and a son, Daniel, 22, who came home from Iraq shortly before his father deployed. "We are saying goodbye to someone whom we loved and treasured," his children said in a statement, "and whose loss leaves a hole in our lives that will never be filled."
7. Col. Paul Kelly, 45, of Stafford, Va., a member of the Virginia Army National Guard, once flew a helicopter to his sons' grade school on career day. "Family was just so important to him," his brother told the Stafford County Sun. Kelly leaves his widow, Maria, and sons, Paul, 8, and J.J., 5. Paul wrote in his father's funeral program, "Dear Dad, I just wanted to tell you I miss you a lot. I was looking forward to Play foot Ball with you. You're my Best friend and the Best Dad ever. We miss you. Love, Paul your son."
8. Sgt. 1st Class Floyd Lake, 43, of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, joined the Virgin Islands Army National Guard in 1990. He was a fitness buff who enjoyed running and exercising with his children. "He was always out in front, beating most of us in physical fitness," his commanding officer told Capital News Service. Lake is survived by his widow, Linda, and five children, J'Nelle, Floyd Jr., Andre, Keeshawn, and Tamile.
9. Cpl. Victor Langarica, 29, of Decatur, Ga., a mechanic assigned to the 86th Signal Battalion, was known for his fancy footwork on dance floors. "He was a great dancer," an Army colleague told the Associated Press. "Salsa, merengue, whatever." He leaves a daughter, Devina, and a son, Devic. "The nightmare that I was running away from came true," his mother told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
10. Capt. Sean Lyerly, 31, of Pflugerville, Texas, was a helicopter pilot with the Texas Army National Guard who flew missions into Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina two years ago. "He loved flying, but he loved flying best when he could help someone else," a friend told the Austin American-Statesman. Lyerly is survived by his widow, Csilla, and their 3-year-old son, Zachary. "They were a perfect couple," his stepmother told the newspaper.
11. Capt. Michael Taylor, 40, of North Little Rock, Ark., was a helicopter pilot with the Arkansas Army National Guard. "He had a great mind, even a superb mind," a colleague said in the Denver Post. "He was a very good pilot." Taylor, who also served in Operation Desert Storm, was piloting the Black Hawk helicopter when it was shot down. He leaves his widow, Wendy, and their two children, Justin, 11, and Meredith, 5.
12. 1st Sgt. William Thomas Warren, 48, of North Little Rock, Ark., a member of the Arkansas Army National Guard for 21 years, volunteered to fill in as door gunner on the ill-fated Black Hawk flight. "Other than family, aviation was Tom Warren's heart and soul," his widow, Doris, told the Jacksonville Patriot. They were married for 24 years and had five children, Zachary, Jordan, Denise, Dorreen, and Desire, and 13 grandchildren.
14. Army Spc. Chirasak Vidhyarkorn, 32, of Queens, N.Y., was described as an engineering whiz by his family. "He was very talented and a very smart guy," his aunt told the New York Post. He died Sept. 29 in Diwaniyah, Iraq, from an undisclosed non-combat incident, just days after he was offered a six-figure job back home. His parents, who live in Thailand, flew to the United States to claim their son's remains.
News cast of the funeral http://video.msn.com/video.aspx/?mkt=en-us&brand=msnbc&tab=m5&rf=http ://www.msnb c.msn.com/&fg=&from=00&vid=4a39aef8-b532-4d9a-860e-320a2e376acb&playlist=videoBy Tag:mk:us:vs:0:tag:News_Editor s%20Picks:ns:MSNVideo_Top_Cats:10:sd:-1:ind:1:ff :8A&wa=wsignin1.0
story and photos of those brave men and women.
Welcome home and Thank you.
10-13-07, 05:27 PM #2Officer First ClassVerified LEO
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Thank you. My son will show you the way in. SSgt Charles " Gadget" Allen, January 2006, Talafar, Iraq"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain."
10-13-07, 05:32 PM #3
10-13-07, 05:42 PM #4
Condolences to your son, Lyndon Chief. May he and the other fallen soldiers rest in peace.
10-13-07, 06:41 PM #5
God bless those fine young men and women. Thank you all for your sacrifice to keep America Safe. May God grant you peace and comfort your loved ones. Peace and tranquility be yours!Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
[George Washington (1732 - 1799)]
10-13-07, 06:55 PM #6
God Bless All Our Troops, and especcialy the fallen and their family's. Unfortunatly we will mourn more as the war continues.
Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy
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