Fallen infantryman memorialized by CTF 4-2
January 24, 2013
COMBAT OUTPOST SPERWAN GHAR, Afghanistan - In Company B, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, Sgt. David Chambers was the example of leadership for soldiers including Sgt. Adam Taylor.
"Dave, you constantly pushed myself and others in this company to strive for greatness, and make your company the best it could be," said Taylor. "You were my best friend, my brother, and my family, just like you were to everyone here today."
Soldiers of Combined Task Force 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division) remembered Chambers during a memorial ceremony Jan. 20, here.
Chambers died Jan. 16 in an improvised explosive device attack in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
A Hampton, Va., native, he joined the military May 2009. His first duty station was Vilseck, Germany, where he served with 2nd Cavalry Regiment for two years and deployed with the unit to Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011.
After redeploying, he transferred duty stations to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., where he joined 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment. Chambers had a noticeable impact on the unit, said his company commander, Capt. Matthew Boise.
"Sgt. Chambers had one of those rare personalities that resonates across the entire company," said Boise. "Look around and you'll find a part of David in every platoon in this company."
"Although he's no longer with us, Sgt. Chambers' mark will forever be stamped on all that we do, therefore his memory will indeed help carry us forward to the objective," Boise explained.
The soldiers of B Company will continue their mission in Afghanistan and honor Chambers' memory, but it will have nothing to do with validation, said Lt. Col. Chad Sundem, the battalion commander of 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment.
"Some people are going to tell us that we must go out and finish the mission in order to validate Sgt. Chambers' service and his ultimate sacrifice," said Sundem. "Of course we're going to finish the mission, but Sgt. Chambers, he doesn't need anything validated. He already was everything anyone would ever want in a son, a friend, a peer, a soldier, and a leader."
Chambers' squad leader, Staff Sgt. Alejandro Cisneros, said Chambers was an inspiration to everyone of what a leader looked like and what a leader did.
"He loved what he did and he loved the guys around him, and in turn, everyone around him loved him," said Cisneros. "He was not only a great infantryman, or a great American, he was a great human being with a beautiful soul."
Sgt. Kyle Chattin, a friend of Chambers, spoke to his fallen comrade during the memorial about a deeper meaning to everything that happens in life.
"We had never even heard of Panjwa'i, but for your whole life it was there on a map for you to find and ponder and finally go to. All of us in this line of work know a place like that, it's there waiting for all of us. But you went to yours and it claimed you," he said.
However, Chattin said he found consolation in one thing.
"I'm comforted now only by the thought of your disposition towards our chosen profession. You knew the score, you knew it may come, and you never wavered. You lived and worked with a dedication to excellence. You pursued it relentlessly, and that was obvious to all lucky enough to know you," he said.
For Chattin and the men of B Company, they lost a vital member of their team.
"The men in this company were made better each and every day by the work you did. Maybe that's what makes this so hard, because there's simply no way to fill a void as large as the one we are left with now," said Chattin.
Taylor, himself, said he would feel a void.
"My home won't be like my home without you brother," Taylor said.
During the memorial, Chattin shared an ode from Laurence Binyon's poem, "For the Fallen."
"They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."
"For us, you will never grow old, Dave. You'll always be the finest friend, brother, and infantryman I have ever known," said Chattin.
Chambers' awards include the Bronze Star Medal, two Purple Heart Medals, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Ribbons, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, and the Driver and mechanic w/ driver-wheeled vehicles badge.
Chambers is survived by his mother, father and brother.