Friday, March 5, 2010
His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold
A Fort Smith soldier has been killed while serving with Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Vincent L. C. Owens, 21, died Monday at Forward Operating Base Sharana.
He had been wounded earlier in the day when enemy forces attacked his vehicle using direct fire in Yosuf Khel.
Sgt. Owens was a motor transport operator assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. He joined the Army in August 2007 and arrived at Fort Campbell in January 2008.
His mother spoke with our sister station KNWA Tuesday night.
"It's crossed my mind several times to get the phone call or have the officials knock on my door," said Sheila Owens.
She says her son arrived in Afghanistan only a few weeks ago.
At 21, Vincent's mom says he had many accomplishments. He was a daredevil bike rider, a proud soldier, already completing a tour in Iraq, and even a newlywed.
"Not many people his age want to work or accomplish or have something, but he did," said Owens.
And while Sheila still supports the Army, she does want answers.
“I know until there is a full investigation I won't know things, like if he died instant, or if he didn't die instant, or if he was in pain, or if he died missing his Mom," said Owens.
Until a full report comes out, she will wait and replay a very different call. "I’ve got a message on my answering machine where I missed one of his phone calls. So I'm still listening to that. He just says, ‘Hi Mom, I’ve been real busy, I love you, and I love you twice.’ He said, ‘he would call me in a couple of days, and today would have been the couple of days,’” she said.
Owens' awards and decorations include: Army Commendation Medal (2 awards); Army Achievement Medal (2 awards); Valorous Unit Award; National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Ribbon; Combat Action Badge; Driver & Mechanic Badge with Driver - Wheeled Vehicles;
and Weapons Qualification: M4, expert. He was posthumously promoted from specialist to sergeant.
He is survived by his wife, Kaitlyn Owens, of Fort Smith; mother, Sheila, of Spiro, Okla.; and father, Keith Owens, of Missouri.
A memorial service was held in Afghanistan. Funeral arrangements in Arkansas are not complete. The family expects to have a burial this week or next. Owens' mother is looking for bikers to ride in the funeral, and one person to take the lead on Vincent’s bike.
Reported by: KARK 4 News
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May Almighty God Bless this brave, young Warrior and may God comfort the hearts of those who love this Soldier so.