SPC Brandon T. Titus
REPOST: SPC Titus, a member of Bravo Company during OIF 2.5, came from a storied family of Veterans: his father is a decorated Vietnam vet and Ranger, and his Great Uncle was a Medal of Honor winner. Brandon followed in their footsteps and served his country as an Infantryman.
On 17AUG04, just a few weeks after arriving in Iraq from Kuwait, SPC Titus was K.I.A when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. I remember the day it happened, because it was the first time we had a "blackout" of communication (phones/internet) so that his family could be first notified. Though we had already begun patrolling and had experienced attacks (the first day I ever left the wire of Camp Victory, we were hit with mortar fire) the reality of just what we were doing didn't sink in until Brandon was killed.
I never got to opportunity to meet him, but will always remember his name (along with another Soldier who we also lost early on) because of the timing of his death.
SPC Titus was a true Commando, Dragon, Barbarian, and most of all...a brother.
He forever earned his place at The Right of the Line.
CPL Charles L. Johnson
REPOST: Though a member of the 1-14th, CPL Johnson was still a Golden Dragon. And earned a Distinguished Service Cross in Korea. I will let his award citation speak for itself and his actions:
The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Corporal Charles L. Johnson (ASN: US-53064153), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Corporal Johnson distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces at Sanae-dong, Korea, on 29 May 1953. On that date, the 3d platoon, spearheading an assault against "Carson Outpost," was pinned down by heavy concentrations of mortar fire and suffered numerous casualties. Constantly vulnerable to withering fire and bursting shells, Corporal Johnson moved fearlessly about the impact area comforting and ministering to the wounded, and assisted aidmen in adjacent platoons in treating and evacuating casualties. As enemy action increased in tempo and fury, fragments from a mortar burst struck him and completely blinded him. Although dazed, shaken, and unable to see, he pursued his heroic task and crawled among his comrades, attending their needs and offering words of encouragement until he was morally wounded.
CPL Johnson's actions to help save his brothers in the face of his own imminent demise go above and beyond the call of duty and set an example that all current and future Dragons should strive for if unfortunately faced with similar circumstances. His bravery shall never be forgotten.
He more than earned his place at The Right of the Line.
SGT Steven M. Packer
REPOST: SGT Packer was assigned to Alpha Company, 2-14th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was killed in action on May 17th, 2007 when his dismounted patrol was hit with an improvised explosive device. At the time, his unit was searching for three other missing 10th Mountain Soldiers who had been attacked and kidnapped a few days earlier. It was his 3rd Tour in Iraq.
This one is a personal entry for me, because I served with SGT Packer at Fort Drum. He was in 1st Platoon, while I was in 3rd, but we were promoted around the same time to E-5 and him and I were friends. We had been deployed together from 2004 to 05. He was a quite, but professional soldier and was very good at his job. I don't think there was a single person in our entire company who didn't like and respect him. I will always remember one specific night with him. We had both been promoted to Sergeant a month or so previous, and he was working the CQ desk in the barracks. I had returned from being out some place, and noticed that he was "smoking" one of his new Joes by making the kid Iron Mike up and down the hallways.
I asked him what the Private had done, to which Packer said "Nothing, other than not listening to a Specialist who has been deployed." He knew how vital it was to always listen and follow the guys who have been there before and learn as much as you can from them. He had to stress to the kid how important that was. And I stayed around for about an hour with him that night while the two of us lectured the Private.
I have never gone out of my way to ask any of my old buddies about what had actually happened the day he was killed. I haven't done that for any of the people I've known who did not make it back. All I know is that a damn fine NCO, Soldier, and friend was taken away from all of us that day.
He forever earned his place at The Right of the Line and in our hearts. RIP, brother.
SP4 Douglas Michael Cady
REPOST: SP4 Cady was assigned to Alpha Company, 2-14th IN, 25th ID during the Vietnam War. He was killed in action on the 24th of January, 1969 in the Hau Nghia province of South Vietnam. He was struck by an unknown explosive device during combat patrols.
Specialist Cady originated from Flint, MI and was 21 years old when he died. He began his tour of Vietnam in October of the previous year and was assigned as his platoon's heavy gunner and anti-tank specialist. He was laid to rest in the New Calvary Cemetery located in his home town.
He earned his place at the Right of the Line.
SGT Eddie Lee Nails, Jr.
It has been awhile since I last did one of these, but no better time to start back up than right now. I'll eventually post the previous ones, but thought that it would be best to start with a new one.
Sergeant Eddie Lee Nails, Jr. was a member of Charlie Co., 2-14th Infantry, 25th ID. He was originally from Florida, and was drafted into the war. He was Killed in Action in Cambodia by enemy Small Arms fire on May 9th, 1970.
He was only 21 years old the day he died.
Sergeant Nails earned his place at The Right of the Line.
I've been doing these small memorials for some time now both on Facebook and on my previous site. The purpose is to not only remember our fallen brothers from the 14th Infantry Regiment, but to show the families that we will always care and never forget.