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.
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.