By Sgt. Matthew Hayes, 1/10 FA, 3rd HBCT Public AffairsJune 30, 2010
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq - Soldiers of COB Delta filled the theater to pay their final respects to a fellow warrior, June 4.
Team Kahuna, a military transition team from Fort Riley, Kan., attached to the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, paid their final respects to one of their own.
Captain Joy A. Gapuzan, a native of Augusta, Ga., died while on environmental moral leave from his tour in Iraq, May 30. Captain Gapuzan served with Team Kahuna for the past year as the logistics officer. He was on his third combat tour in his 16 years of service. He had also supported several peacekeeping missions.
Captain Gapuzan, a former enlisted Soldier, embraced a diverse life. During his memorial service, friends said he was a man who knew enough about everything to get by and look good doing it. He was a motorcycle enthusiast having built 12 bikes and owning three. He was truly a lover of life. He was a traveler, sky diver, artist, uncle, brother and friend. He was a humble man and it was apparent that he lived his life to the fullest.
"Friends describe him as amazing, selfless, talented," said Lt. Col. Shaun E. Tooke, 1/10 FA commander. "I find it fitting to describe him simply by the name his parents so appropriately gave him at birth. By all accounts, Capt. Gapuzan found great 'joy' in being a Soldier, a friend, an uncle, and doing the activities and hobbies he spent his free time performing. Likewise, he brought joy to those he associated with."
Although he did not have children of his own, he was a proud uncle. One speaker during the service told a story touching the hearts of the audience.
One of his nieces had asked him if the ink on his tattoos would come off, the speaker said. After telling her, "No," his niece had spent her next 30 minutes scrubbing his arm to see the truth.
Lieutenant Colonel Allen Thiessen, Team Kahuna team leader and native of Panama City, Fla. Said. "'Gap' was not the loud outgoing type who needed to be the center of attention. He was the exact opposite. He let his actions and deeds speak for himself."