Leader with 'heart of gold' remembered
January 8, 2013
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Family, friends and 'Manchu' Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division gathered to remember the life and honor the service of Sgt. Logan Tyler Harbison at Evergreen Chapel, Dec. 11.
"During the five years he spent in the 'Manchu' battalion, Sergeant Harbison made quite an impact on the Soldiers he led, as well as his peers," said Capt. Michael Centola, 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Regt. rear detachment commander.
According to Centola, Harbison had served under each of the three battalion commanders since the unit's re-activation. He knew the unit well, Centola continued, was part of its legacy during the surge in Iraq on his first deployment, and helped close the chapter in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn history during his second deployment; Harbison's battalion was part of the last combat brigade to leave the country in 2010.
"Logan was a great person," said Sgt. Anthony Pariseau. "He was the type of person who did everything he possibly could to make you feel welcome."
Harbison and Pariseau were team leaders in the same platoon when they first became non-commissioned officers and good friends. According to Pariseau, Harbison earned the respect of his Soldiers because he was able to connect with them not only on a professional level, but on a personal level.
"Logan was a big country boy with a heart of gold, had a sense of humor to rival most comedians, loved his family, his girlfriend and all of his brothers-in-arms," Pariseau said.
"It was an honor for me to serve as his commander," said Centola.
Sgt. Logan Tyler Harbison, a native of Inverness, Fla., was born Feb. 7, 1987, and graduated from Citrus High School in 2005. In January 2007, he attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Ga., in the military occupational specialty 11B, Infantryman.
Assigned to 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Regt., prior to the unit's deployment in June 2007, Harbison served his first combat tour as a rifleman during the Iraq surge. He served his second combat tour with the unit as a vehicle commander for the battalion commander's security detachment, and completed the historic "Last Patrol" in Iraq in 2010.
Harbison redeployed to JBLM and transitioned into Company B, 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Regt. as a fire team leader. In 2011 and 2012, he served a critical role during training rotations at the Yakima Training Center in eastern Washington.
Harbison's awards and decorations include Army Commendation Medals with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral "2". He is a graduate of the Army's Javelin Training Devices Course and the Combat Lifesaver Course.
He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Danita and Shannon Heathcock, father and stepmother, Russell and Sherry Harbison, brother, Jordon Harbison, and fiancée, Christine Fautenberry.