Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2-15 remembers heroes

Sgt. Chris McCann
2nd BCT Journalist

Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) gathered at the battalion’s headquarters Nov. 20 to honor comrades fallen during the brigade’s most recent unit to Iraq.
Four Soldiers – Capt. Kevin Landeck, Chief Warrant Officer Dwayne Moore, Sgt. Justin Wisniewski and Pfc. Matthew Bean – were remembered briefly by those who served alongside them. Their photos were then hung on the wall, next to engraved plaques recalling their biographies, on the “Hall of Honor.”
Capt. Bobby Temple, who served with Landeck, recalled him as “one of the best leaders I’ve ever worked with” and said he was not only an outstanding infantryman, he was loved by his Soldiers.
1st Lt. Bethany Landeck, his widow, recently transitioned from the National Guard to the active-duty army, and now serves with the 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd BCT. They were married only two years.
She said that the plaques and photos serve a valuable purpose.
“It’s important that Soldiers are remembered,” said Landeck. “(These things) won’t let their memories be forgotten.”
Staff Sgt. Duriel Powell spoke fondly of Moore, and said that if his mentor could speak to the crowd, he’d tell them “Don’t worry about me – this was my home-going.” Powell also recalled Moore’s devotion to family, including his daughter.
Wisniewski was remembered by Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Klein.
“I could tell he was something special,” Klein said of the first time he met the Soldier everyone called ‘Ski.’ “This was a guy who loved life. The worse the conditions, the happier he was. He wanted to be in the lead vehicle, or out front on a patrol …when talk of re-enlistment came up, people couldn’t imagine Ski doing anything but being a Soldier. He will be sorely missed.”
Bean, the brigade’s last casualty, had always impressed other Soldiers, said Pfc. Michael Ogburn. “We always hoped he would make rank fast, because we knew he’d be an outstanding leader,” Ogburn said. “On a patrol, he’d carry an M-249 machine gun with its basic load of ammunition, plus an M-4 carbine and its basic load – and he’d always offer to help carry things for others. He was a young, talented guy, and he’ll be missed by his family, fiancĂ©e and friends.”
“I really think these plaques will have a lasting impact,” said Klein. “When I first came to the unit, there were two plaques from the previous deployment, and lots of stories were told about those guys. It’s very important to honor the fallen Soldiers and keep their memories alive as we continue to fight the war on terror.”

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