Spc. Jennie Burrett
2nd BCT Journalist
The 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division (LI) held a memorial ceremony Nov. 30 (Friday) to honor Golden Dragon comrades killed in action while deployed to Iraq.
The ceremony for the 10 Soldiers was held at the previous 2-14 headquarters, now used by the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT.
“We are gathered here for the first time since our redeployment as a united battalion to honor and pay tribute to 10 great men,” said Lt. Col. John C. Valledor, the battalion commander of 2-14 infantry regiment. “This was the first opportunity the battalion, complete, has had to honor our fallen.”
The names of the 10 fallen comrades were put on a memorial that was created after Operation Iraqi Freedom 2.5. There are names already existing on the monument of 2-14 soldiers that were killed in action from OIF 2.5, and Mogadishu.
The monument consists of a bronze “battle cross” - an upright M-16 rifle, bayonet down, with a pair of boots at its base and topped with a Kevlar helmet. The base displays plaques containing names of the fallen.
Surrounding the memorial are semicircular benches containing names of sponsors, and colorful shrubs, designed to honor the men and keep their memories alive.
Sgt. Jason C. Denfrund, 24, from Springville, N.Y., is survived by his wife Melissa, daughter Chloe, and son Jayden.
On Christmas Day of 2006, Denfrund spent most of the morning discovering and clearing improvised explosive devices along Route Pinto. He was unaware of the hidden device that mortally wounded him. As team leader he was credited for saving the life of fellow Soldier he told to move away prior to the detonation of the IED.
“He saved my life,” said Spc. Brandon M. Deaton, the Soldier who was directed to move away by Denfrund.
Spc. Raymond N. Mitchell, 21, was from West Memphis, Ark. On Jan. 6, 2007, Mitchell safeguarding Route Earnheardt, when he suffered wounds that caused the loss of his life. He is survived by his parents, Carolyn and Raymond.
Capt. Kevin Landeck, 26, was from Wheaton, Ill. He is survived by his wife, 1st Lt. Bethany Landeck.
“On Feb. 2, 2007, Landeck paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Valledor. “He was the only officer that we lost this year”
Landeck was killed when an IED detonated near his vehicle. Known as a prankster, he would take name tapes off body-armor vests to poke fun at fellow Soldiers in Iraq.
Sgt. Thomas L. Latham, 23, from Delmar, Md., is survived by his wife, Rachel, daughter Ariel, and stepson Caleb. Latham suffered fatal wounds when an IED when off near his Humvee on March 11, 2007.
Cpl. Wilfred Flores, Jr., 20, from Lawton, Okla. He was survived by his parents, Wilfred Sr. and Vicky; Staff Sgt. Jason Arnette, 24, from Amelia, Va., is survived by his wife Shenandoah Sky.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Spc. Jennie Burrett