FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers, civilians and family members gathered together to mourn the loss of Spc. Justin Richardson at a memorial service held in his honor April 7.

Born in Bronx, N.Y., Richardson joined the Army in 2005; completing advanced individual training as a heavy vehicle driver. Following his graduation, Richardson was assigned to A Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Richardson deployed with his company to Iraq in October 2006 and was assigned to the gun truck and transportation platoon where he provided secure ground escort to members of the Department of State provincial reconstruction team and logistical service support to numerous forward operating bases.

"He was a leader and role model for others to follow," said Lt. Col. Matthew Ruedi, commander of 15th BSB. "He was the type of person everyone could count on and always wanted to have on their team."

"He was a larger than life character with a big sense of humor," explained Cpt. Adam Bradford, A Co. commander. "One day he was accepting an award from Lt. Col. Ruedi after our truck rodeo for being one of the best in the company, and he got up in front of the formation and graciously thanked his mother, father, wife and son. Then, literally, five minutes later he completed his speech by thanking every person, place and thing in sight of him at the time. I think he stopped at the tire iron he used in the competition."

"In fact, the only thing bigger about Rich than his physique and his sense of humor was his heart," he continued. "His heart was bigger than New York City and it poured unconditional love for his family and his fellow Soldiers. He always put others before himself, and his friendship between his brothers-in-arms was both genuine and unshakeable, and that is how I will remember him."

"He touched everybody's life that he came in contact with," said Sgt. Steve Martin, a Soldier who served with Richardson. "He knew how to make people happy by entertaining them. He made people feel welcome and accepted."

"He was truly an angel put on earth by God; he will always be with us in spirit."

Richardson's military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal and Army Service Ribbon. Richardson is survived by his wife Kearsten; son, Justin Jr.; and mother Sheryl Richardson.

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