<b>FORT STEWART, Ga.</b> - <i>"I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life."</i>

Those are the words of the author Jack Kerouac in his Beat Generation classic, "On the Road," and the words that opened the featured speech at the Warriors Walk Tree Dedication at Fort Stewart, Nov. 18. That morning, two more 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers were thanked for their service and sacrifice with the planting of two Eastern Redbuds in their honor, next to the 434 dedicated to their brothers-in-arms.

Specialist John Carrillo., Jr., and Pfc. Gebrah Noonan, both of 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID, were killed in Fallujah, Iraq, Sept. 23. A fellow Soldier, Spc. Neftaly Platero, is charged with the shooting deaths of Spc. Carrillo and Pfc. Noonan and wounding a third Soldier. He is being held in pre-trial confinement in Kuwait, according to U.S. Forces-Iraq. The shooting is still under investigation.

Specialist Carrillo, 20, of Stockton, Calif., joined the Army in 2008 as a signal support systems specialist. He joined the China Battalion in May, and deployed with them in July.

His friends said he loved music and he loved to joke and get people to smile.

"John was good at making things work - he loved working on cars when he wasn't figuring out how to get some stubborn commo gear to go from 'broken and stupid' to 'loud and clear,'" Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, 3rd ID deputy commanding general, said in his speech. "He loved music, hip hop in particular, and was active in his church's youth group; his buddies all say he loved to joke and to get folks around him smiling. He genuinely liked people; he radiated life."

Specialist Carrillo is survived by his wife, Reylene, and their sons John II, 3, and Julius, 5 months.

Private First Class Noonan, 26, of Watertown, Conn., was a clown - as voted by his 2002 Watertown High School - who loved to read. He attended Manhattanville College and Fordham University before joining the Army in October 2009.

"Gebrah, appropriately, was a Yankees fan - a serious Yankees fan," Brig. Gen. Phillips said of Pfc. Noonan. "He followed politics. And like his brother-in-arms, he was into music - soul music especially, with 4,000 songs on his iPod and the confidence to go as Michael Jackson at his senior dress-up day."

Private First Class Noonan is survived by his parents, Ling and William, two brothers and a sister.
"And, if, as it may happen - as it did happen - that we encounter a dark turn on the road ... it may be hard, it may be impossible, to make sense of that darkness, try as we all might," Brig. Gen. Phillips said. "But this will be known, in this we can have faith - that we took life with both hands and lived it well, lived it to the full measure. And left the world better for our having been there. In living their lives, these two Soldiers, two Americans - one from "back East," and one from "out West" - took life with both hands. They lived it well, lived it to the full measure ... and left the world better for their having been there."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16