Losing a co-worker is tough. Losing a friend is tougher. But, as Soldiers, it’s something that we unfortunately somehow learn to deal with. One of the ways we deal with our losses is to honor our fallen with memorial ceremonies that help to provide some level of closure. There is still a combat mission to perform and we must move on. These ceremonies give us a reason to keep fighting and bring home the reality and seriousness of what we do on a daily basis. That doesn’t make it easier.
Memorials are conducted both in theater and back home for families. Here is a glimpse at one such memorial ceremony for three Soldier from the 131st Transportation Company, 142nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade who were killed when their convoy struck an Improvised Explosive Device July 18.
Everyday Soldiers of the U.S. Army fight to protect our country, our families and our lives. Many have given the ultimate sacrifice. Many, even after suffering traumatic injuries of war, continue to serve.
Captain Darby Boudreaux, 225th Engineer Brigade, was severely injured by an improvised explosive device on May 25, 2005 in a route clearance mission near Ghazaliya in western Baghdad. A minor artery was severed in his right leg and he lost a significant amount of blood.
Boudreaux spent the next three months recovering and going through painful rehabilitation.
Even with life threatening injuries, Bourdreauz says that the most traumatic part of the whole ordeal was not the impact of the blast or how close he came to death, but the fact he had to leave his Soldiers behind.
So four years later, he convinced his command to allow him to return to Iraq.
Currently, Boudreaux is the officer in charge and an instructor at the 225th Engineer Brigade Task Force Iron Claw Academy. He uses his near death experience to give Soldiers a chance at success and a better chance to stay alive by teaching Improvised Explosive Device identification.
Even with pieces of metal still lodged inside his body, Cpt. Boudreaux is satisfied that he was able to finally complete his mission on the battlefield.
For his heroism on the battlefield and his commitment to his Soldiers, Cpt. Darby Boudreaux is this week’s Warrior-Soldier of the Week.
Photo by Lt. Col. Pat Simon