Memorial honors Soldier and friend
January 15, 2010
By Marny Malin
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- More than 175 Soldiers, civilians and friends honored the loss of Spc.Thithavy T. Phommasy Friday at Belvoir Chapel. Phommasy, of San Diego, was assigned to Echo Company, 169th Engineer Battalion. He was training with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on Fort Belvoir, died Jan. 5 of natural causes.
It is never easy to say goodbye to a brother-in-arms, however it is very easy to speak highly about someone like Spc. Phommasy," Cpt. Laura Schroeder, company commander said.
"By all accounts and anecdotes, Tony was an energetic, optimistic and enthusiastic father, husband, son and Soldier. He showed dedication, passion and commitment to everything he did, whether it was work or play, family or friends or anything in-between," Schroeder said.
"In a society where such a small percentage of the population serves their nation, as a California National Guardsman he was truly two times a citizen," Schroeder said, acknowledging his 18 years of service before becoming a student at Belvoir in October.
Staff Sgt. Jamel Jones spoke of his honesty, integrity and ability to enjoy life while putting a smile on everyone's face.
Spc. Montoriez Gray acknowledged Phommasy's wisdom and stories, for any situations. "I will try to keep those good memories with me, in the words of Spc. Phommasy, 'Buddha bless, may he be with you,' Gray said.
"My heart is saddened from losing such a great friend, said Spc. Jonathan Riggs, who appreciated Phommasy's genuineness and his ability to drop everything to brighten your day.
"He painted the picture of friendship and how to be a Soldier. He showed us that being a Soldier isn't always about who can score the highest or who can ruck the farthest. Being a Soldier is about building the bond between those of us to our left and to our right. It's about watching your friends back and picking him up in a time of need," Riggs said.
1st Sgt. Moise Danjoint then called Phomassy's name three times during the last roll call. After the ceremonial firing of volleys, "Taps" was played, and each Soldier moved silently forward for a final salute at the memorial display of an inverted rifle, helmet, boots, dog tags and Phommasy's photo.
"It is very difficult to lose someone like Spc. Phommasy, someone who always gave so much of himself to others, his family, his community, and his friends. All of whom continue to love him dearly," Schroeder said.
Phommasy was born May 18, 1971 in Laos, Cambodia and leaves behind a son, Ethan, 4, and wife, Monique.
Photo by Marny Malin
A Soldier salutes at the memorial held for Spc. Thithavy T. Phommasy, Jan. 8 at Fort Belvoir Chapel. Phommasy was assigned to Echo Company 169th Engineer Battalion at Fort Belvoir and died at Walter Reed hospital Jan. 5.