Schofield remembers fallen
September 5, 2007
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS - More than 600 Tropic Lightning Soldiers, veterans, family members and government representatives paid their respects in a memorial service, Wednesday, at the Main Post Chapel here, for 10 Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in a tragic helicopter crash last week in Kirkuk, Iraq.
The memorial service occurred a day after thousands of Task Force Lightning Soldiers held a tribute ceremony at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Warrior to honor their fallen comrades.
The incident occurred approximately 21 miles west of FOB Warrior. The Soldiers were conducting night operations in the Tamim Province when one of two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters experienced a mechanical malfunction shortly after extracting the Soldiers from a combat mission. On board were 10 Schofield Barracks Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (3IBCT), 25th Infantry Division and four Fort Lewis, Wash.-based aircrew members.
Maj. William O'Brien, rear detachment commander, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3IBCT delivered a personal tribute for each fallen Soldier. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Joel Lytle, Schofield Barracks community chaplain, provided the invocation and benediction.
"Here is the challenge that I give each one of us," Lytle said. "Be still. Stop. Reflect. What is the reality that is going on around me right now' It's love that's able to make something good out of heartbreaking tragedy."
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle offered a tribute on behalf of the state. She noted that while the Soldiers represented a wide cross-section of the United States, they were accepted as ohana in Hawaii.
Following the tribute ceremony at FOB Warrior, Tuesday, Soldiers left behind coins, letters and words of remembrance for their fallen comrades. Here are some of the words they wrote:
Cpl. Jeremy P. Bouffard
"He 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."
"Whether a bunch of us were playing cards or just passing each other outside ... he was a good person who tried to make your day a little better."
Cpl. Phillip J. Brodnick
"Cpl. Brodnick always struck me as a Soldier with unlimited potential."
"Cpl. Brodnick was an extremely honest leader with integrity. He could be trusted no matter what the circumstances were.
"He always excelled at his job and never let his Soldiers down."
Capt. Derek A. Dobogai
"Capt. Dobogai was a great man. He was just easy to talk to, whatever subject, be it working out [his favorite] or just some random off-the-wall topic.
"Capt. Dobogai was always more than willing to help Soldiers, and no matter what the situation, he could always lighten your mood."
"Capt. Dobogai was a man of character. I will never forget this outstanding leader, role model, friend and brother in arms."
"[He] ... lived each day to its fullest. Nothing he ever did was half hearted because he always put all of himself into everything he did, even when he said he didn't."
Cpl. Joshua S. Harmon
"Cpl. Harmon was full of life and always willing to learn more about his job."
"I know he was an outstanding medic and took his job very seriously. He cared a lot about his fellow Soldiers."
"Cpl. Harmon was a great Soldier in every aspect. He was respected by every person that knew him."
Spc. Michael A. Hook
"Spc. Hook was dedicated, and ... put himself through hell to lose weight and be a scout. He was a great person who sets his mind to something and makes sure it is accomplished."
"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."
"Spc. Hook was very disciplined and strived to excel every day."
Cpl. Nathan C. Hubbard
"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."
"Cpl. Hubbard was very loyal to his family and to his unit. He always strived for excellence."
"Cpl. Hubbard was an extremely brave Soldier who went through loss and still decided to fight. His character is unmatched."
Sgt. Garrett I. McLead
"On the day of a 'mock board' he went out of his way to help me with a subject I was struggling with, even though he was going to the same board and it took away from his studying time. He was just an overall great person."
"He always led by example by taking the hard right instead of the easy wrong."
"McLead was a hard working Soldier who cared deeply about his men. He was respected by each and every member of his platoon."
Staff Sgt. Jason L. Paton
"Staff Sgt. Paton was one hilarious individual and always knew how to make you laugh. He was serious when he needed to be and extremely dependable. He constantly mentored his Soldiers and they looked up to him as an older brother."
"Staff Sgt. Paton was an awesome NCO who I always felt connected with us lower enlisted guys because of his age and general likes/dislikes. He was a great guy and I always enjoyed listening to his crazy stories."
"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. I will always have the utmost respect for this professional NCO."
Cpl. Jessy G. Pollard
"Cpl. Pollard was a man of faith and always took his Bible studies to heart. You could always tell Pollard was in the Tactical Operations Center because he had a loud and bright voice that matched his personality."
"Cpl. Pollard had to have been the most excitable person I have ever met. Whenever there was something going, no matter how drab or boring, he just made the situation interesting."
"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."
Spc. Tyler R. Seideman
"Spc. Seideman was always looking to better himself."
"He was a fine example for any Soldier to look up to and strive to be like."
"He was always looking for a 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."
"Spc. Seideman was highly motivated to accomplish any mission. He was looked up to by his peers and subordinates alike."
(Editor's Note: Multi-National Division-North Public Affairs contributed reporting.)