Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Alpha's Loss Memorialized
While staying overnight with our Alpha Rock Soldiers at JSS Pathfinder last week, we were on-hand when a squad of dismounts were engaged by the enemy in Albu Obaid. Leading from the front of the patrol, Staff Sergeant Steve Butcher was killed by a bomb concealed in a shack. One of his Soldiers, Specialist Daniel Cagle, died from his wounds while being air evacuated to Balad. Their fellow Soldiers were hit hard by the loss. Sergent Tremain and I immediately went to work, consoling members of their squad and platoon. Cagle was once a troubled teen who had found his home in the Infantry. He helped them "stay sane" his friend said in his remarks during their memorial ceremony. SSG Butcher had been in the company since 2002; this was his third deployment to Iraq. Before I could even get out of the gun truck that took us to Pathfinder that day, SSG Butcher was there to let me know that a couple of his Soldiers needed to see me. He took great care of them. Before joining the Army, SSG Butcher tried out for the part of the Blue Power Ranger of the children's television show! His martial arts skills gave him the confidence, but he was turned away because he was too short--something that never limited him in the real world. Our Soldiers will continue to grieve, and we'll continue to listen and comfort as we are able. Our prayers remain with their family members.