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Minnesota National Guard
SFC David R. Berry remembered as a Selfless Soldier

Convoy Support Center, Scania, Iraq " Sergeant 1st Class David R Berry of Wichita, Kansas, was remembered Tuesday, February 27, 2007, at the Convoy Support Center Scania courtyard as a great friend and Soldier who would always get the job done, no matter the task

Berry, a squad leader in Bravo Battery 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery in the Kansas National Guard attached to 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery (Strike), 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Division, died when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle February 22nd near CSC Scania, Iraq

Capt Sean Herbig of Sublette, Kansas, SFC Berry's battery commander, said that SFC Berry was a dedicated, caring noncommissioned officer

"He was a source of laughter and delight, for David had a unique sense of humor, which kept you on your toes His easy going personality and positive disposition endeared him to everyone who knew him These same traits served him well during tough and trying times

"We will all remember David in different ways but all of us will remember him as a friend and as a patriot who was dedicated to his family, friends and his country"

Long time friend, Operations Sergeant First Class David Mugg of Enid, Oklahoma told the more than 400 Soldiers and civilian workers at the memoriam, "I have for many years thought of SFC Berry as being the best example I know of who we all claim to be, the citizen Soldier

"He was good-natured and easygoing, quiet to the point of almost seeming shy, and infinitely patient I can count on my thumbs the total number of times I saw him become angry or upset"

SFC Mugg also talked about how SFC Berry earned the United States highest peacetime award for valor, the Soldier's Medal, for risking his life to pull an injured driver from a burning vehicle

"I think that in many people this would have been considered heroic, but I do not think it was heroism on David's part I think who he was as a man and as a human being did not allow him any other course of action"¦he was willing to risk his life so that an entire nation might have the opportunity to succeed"

His Platoon Sergeant, SFC Gary Salmans of Dodge City Kansas echoed this same selfless quality, "SFC Berry truly believed in the mission that we are all trying to accomplish in this country "˜It's gotta be done, so we might as well get to work' He approached life with that attitude, and set an example that cannot be forgotten"

The friends he left behind paid tribute to SFC Berry in a special ceremony

In the center of the stage was a Memorial Boot Stand On the left were the American and Kansas flags with the unit colors in the middle and the company guidons on the right On the top step was an M-16 rifle with a bayonet attached placed into the step barrel first with a Kevlar helmet sitting on top of the rifle's stock SFC Berry's dog tags hung from the rifle

Desert boots with the heels together at a 45 degree angle were resting on a step below his rifle An 8x10 inch portrait of him rested in the center of the memorial stand The photo featured SFC Berry standing with an American flag hanging behind him

Soldiers marched to the stand, turned, faced it and saluted it Once they dropped their salute, they turned away from the stand and left the stage, several hugging each other as they remembered their fallen friend

Several other battalion commanders and command sergeant majors of the 1/34 BCT also left their coins and several Soldiers ripped off their unit patch on their left shoulder and placed it on the stand

Sergeant First Class David R Berry was born to Karl and Jackie Berry on March 12th 1969 in Anthony, Kansas David graduated from Chaparral High School in 1987 David worked at The Farrar Foundry in Norwich Kansas since 1987

David enlisted in the Kansas Army National Guard on April 4th 1986, as a Heavy Anti-Armor Weapons Infantryman with C Company 2nd Battalion of 137th Infantry in Wichita, Kansas In 1996 he joined C Battery 1st Battalion 161st Field Artillery as a Cannon Crewmember in Kingman, Kansas David was transferred to B Battery 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery on October 8th, 2005, to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08

David's awards and decorations include the Soldiers Medal, The Bronze Star Medal, The Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, The Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Bronze Hourglass and M Device, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with the number 2, The Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, and Kansas National Guard Service Ribbon with 3 Sunflowers

David is survived by his wife Kathleen, his daughter Holly Gill and two grandchildren of Wichita, Kansas, his parents Karl & Jackie, and a sister, Laina Berry of Anthony, Kansas

By CPT Paul Rickert
20 March, 2007
Article source: http://www.redbullweb.com/23.html

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