Paratroopers honor fallen hero
June 22, 2009
BAGHDAD - A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Paratrooper, killed in eastern Baghdad last week, was honored for his service and ultimate sacrifice during a memorial ceremony at Joint Security Station Loyalty, June 7.
Sgt. Justin Duffy, a 31-year-old infantryman from Cozad, Neb., was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
He was killed in action when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle during combat operations, June 2, in the 9 Nissan district of eastern Baghdad. Duffy was serving his first deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Col. Timothy McGuire, commander of the 3rd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div., spoke about Sgt Duffy's selfless service and devotion to duty.
"Today we gather to honor a modern day Paratrooper who paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure we win our generation's struggle," he said. "Sgt. Duffy was tough, loyal and dependable. You always knew Justin had your back and could be counted on."
"He was willing to put himself in harm's way to protect the people of Baghdad, build Iraqi capacity and defend our fellow Americans back home," he added.
His fellow Paratroopers remembered a man who was caring and dedicated to his work and his fellow comrades.
"Sgt. Duffy was a hard-charging professional who wanted to master his equipment and himself," said Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Smith, who served as Sgt. Duffy's platoon sergeant for the company's personnel security detachment. "Sgt. Duffy was my go to guy because I knew if I gave him the hard jobs he would accomplish them. He cared about troopers and their families, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will never be forgotten."
Duffy enlisted in the Army in June 2007 as an infantryman. He completed his one-unit station training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal with bronze service star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Parachute Badge.
He is survived by his parents, Joseph and Janet Duffy, and two sisters.