First Team honors fallen comrades
February 3, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division gathered Jan. 28, at the division Memorial Chapel to remember the life and service of two, First Team Soldiers.
Plant City, Fla. Native, Sgt. David Andrew Croft, died Jan. 5 in Baghdad of wounds suffered when his unit came under insurgent attack. Croft who joined the Army in 2005 was deployed in February 2009 as vehicle gunner with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Pvt. Jhanner A. Tello who was born in Cali, Columbia and joined the Army's ranks in 2005, succumbed to non combat related injuries Dec. 10, 2009 in Baghdad. Tello just as Croft was a seasoned soldier with previous deployments under his belt, when he deployed with 1st Air Cavalry Brigade's 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment in September 2009.
"They were sons, Fathers, Brothers, husbands, and to all of us U.S. Soldiers," said Col. Jeffery Sauer, the 1st Cavalry Division rear detachment commander. "We are thankful for the opportunity to have served with these young men," he added.
Croft who was on his second deployment to Iraq voluntarily, "wanted to go," remembered friend and fellow 'Ironhorse' Soldier, Spc. William Cannon.
"He wanted to go for all of us who had never been before, to look out for us; to make sure we returned home," he added.
Croft Joined the Army as a Cavalry Scout and deployed in Oct. 2006 to Jan. 2008, with Blackhawk Troop. His second deployment came in February 2009 where he served as a vehicle gunner with the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div.
Sgt. Croft was an outspoken leader and even a better friend to his brothers in arms as well as all Iraqi civilians he encountered on patrol in Iraq, said Capt. Brandon Dawalt, who deployed with Croft during his first deployment in 2006.
Sgt. David Croft is survived by his mother Victoria, three sisters, Melodie Hansen, Andrea Pryor, and Robin Croft; Brother Tyler Croft and fiancAfAe Suzie Clark.
Tello was eulogized by his friends as a leader with an infectious energy who loved his children and wanted to provide a better world for them to grow up in.
"I find it very appropriate to be talking about Tello today as it is his birthday, so I see this as celebrating the life that he lived rather than the one he left behind," said friend, Spc. David Bryant.
Tello who would have been 30 years old is survived by his wife Jennifer, his three sons Christian, Glovanni, Josh, and his parents Freddy Tello, and Nancy Rojas Tello.
"While we mourn, we must also continue the mission," said Sauer. Each of us has been touched by these young men so we must be better people to honor their memories and carry forward their legacy."