Friday, August 28, 2009

Their Stars Have Turned From Blue to Gold

Capt. John L. Hallett III, Capt. Cory J. Jenkins and Sgt. 1st Class Ronald W. Sawyer

Dennis Williams in 2002, as a junior at Federal Way High School

A 24-year-old Federal Way native was among four Fort Lewis soldiers killed when a bomb detonated near their vehicle in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday

Dennis Williams in 2002, as a junior at Federal Way High School
The soldiers were serving with 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which is fighting the Taliban throughout southeastern Afghanistan. The Department of Defense, which announced the deaths Thursday, has not released any additional information about the attack.

The slain were identified as:

– Pfc. Dennis M. Williams of Federal Way
– Capt. John L. Hallett III, of California
– Capt. Cory J. Jenkins of Arizona
– Sgt. 1st Class Ronald W. Sawyer of Trenton, Mo.

The four were assigned to 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, from which all six of the brigade’s fatalities have come.

The 3,900-member brigade assumed responsibilities for large sections of Kandahar and Zabul provinces – long strongholds of the Taliban – earlier this month. Two soldiers from 1st Battalion were killed last week when a bomb exploded near their unit.

Forty-four American service members have died this month, making August tied for July as the deadliest months of the eight-year war. Part of the reason for the spike in violence is because the United States has deployed more than 60,000 troops to fight the insurgency, the largest number so far in the war.

Williams, a 2003 graduate of Federal Way High School, joined the Army in October 2007 and was reported to Fort Lewis on March 10, 2008. He was on his first deployment.

Hallett, 30, earned his commission after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 2001. He previously deployed to Iraq in 2005-06 with a Stryker brigade from Hawaii. Hallett reported to Fort Lewis in 2007 and served as a battalion personnel officer, assistant operations officer and company commander.

Jenkins, 30, has served in the Army since 2007 and arrived at Fort Lewis on March 7, 2008. He was serving with the battalion as a physician assistant.

Sawyer, 38, enlisted in 1992 and reported to Fort Lewis after postings in Colorado, Texas, Germany, California and South Korea. He has deployed to Kosovo and Cuba.

Family members of the soldiers couldn’t be reached Thursday afternoon.

The deaths push the number of Washington service members killed in military operations since 2001 to 323. The attack was the deadliest incident for a Fort Lewis unit since four soldiers assigned to 4th Squadron, 6th Air Cavalry Regiment died during a helicopter crash on Aug. 22, 2007 near Kirkuk, Iraq.

~The News Tribune-Tacoma, WA~

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Brave Warrior, your battles are over, it's time to rest your head.
Brave Warrior, lay down in the clover, the earth is now your bed,
Brave Warrior, a flag is now wrapped around you, your grateful nation mourns.
Now rest in peace, and sleep for the ages in the place where you were born.

Brave Warrior, your time was short, now it's time to say goodbye.
Sweet Warrior, mount your faithful steed as you ride off in the sky,
A folded flag is all that's left to remind us, of how you lived and died,
Brave Warrior, they've all come to see you, they've come to say good bye.

When the poppies fate, and the cold winds blow,
and the graves are covered in the fallen snow,
you will warm our hearts with the memory of your love.

Brave Warrior, evening is falling, the fields are empty and gold,
Brave Warrior, your star shinning bright, your spirit of peace we now hold,
Brave Warrior, your ship finds its harbor, where the water meets the sky.
And I will think of you as I breath my freedom, with a tear drop in my eye.
Sweet Warrior, I'll never forget you, good soldiers never die.

Your memory will never die.

By Joe Cantafio
Copyright 2004

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May Almighty God Bless these brave soldiers and comfort the families who love them so.


jojo said...

Beautiful poem...God Bless each and every one of them. Our Gratitude will never be enough to equal their Sacrifice...

AirmanMom said...


Bag Blog said...

My prayers and thoughts go out to their families and friends.

AirmanMom said...

bagblog...thank you for taking the time to read of our heroes!

Julie said...


AirmanMom said...

julie...thanks for stopping by!

AFWingMom said...

Thank you again for your work on remembering those that have given their all.

AirmanMom said...

WingMom...I thank YOU for taking the time to read their stories!

christian soldier said...

Thank you for the info on the three others lost...I just posted Capt Hallett III...

AirmanMom said...

c-cs...each of our fallen have a name and a face, it's my desire to make certain we know many of the soldier who have paid the ultimate price. I'm so glad you were able to lear of the other three...

The Brat said...

Bless each and every one. They, and those who love them, are always close to my heart and in my prayers..