These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.
There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.
~ Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)
Tonight we stand in silient vigil to honor three more gallant young men who were killed in Iraq earlier this week. All three were from Fort Campbell, and were from the same brigade that lost three soldiers last week.
Pfc. David H. Sharrett II, 27, of Oakton, Virginia
Pfc. Sharrett died Jan. 16 in Pallouata, Iraq of wounds he suffered in Balad, Iraq, when he was attacked by grenade and small arms fire during combat operations. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
"If you could put together the kind of person you wanted defending your country, this is the guy," his father said. "He's the toughest guy I ever knew."
David H. Sharrett II, 27, grew up in the Oakton area, was a star defensive end on the Oakton High School football team and lived in Northern Virginia until he decided to enlist in the military in 2006, his father, David H. Sharrett, said (Thursday).
"He joined the Army because he wanted to serve his country," his father said. "He just felt like he needed to do this and felt like he was doing the right thing."
Sharrett was a devoted reader and student of history, his father said. "When a lot of kids were playing video games, he was reading history books," and he took Shakespeare with him to Iraq, his father said.
As a senior at Oakton High, he was a stalwart player on a 1998 team that posted the best record in school history to that point, 10-2, and lost to Centreville in the Northern Region finals.
His father said Sharrett was selected to play in the Super 44 statewide All-Star game and graduated in 1999. He loved the Redskins, fishing and heavy-metal music.
He entered boot camp in August 2006 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Ky.
"He was well trained, and he was a leader," his father said. Sharrett was a private first class, but "he said they were going to make him a sergeant at the earliest opportunity."
After Sharrett was deployed to Iraq in September, the father and son e-mailed or instant-messaged each other nearly every day when the younger Sharrett wasn't on an operation. "His last e-mail, he said, 'I'll be back,' " his father said. "I'd say, 'Take care and be safe.' "
Sharrett's tour of duty was scheduled to end in October 2009, his father said. He planned to return to Northern Virginia, earn a degree and possibly become a history teacher. His father teaches English at Chantilly High School.
"If you could put together the kind of person you wanted defending your country, this is the guy," his father said. "He's the toughest guy I ever knew."
Pfc. Sharrett’s friends and community are in mourning. These beautiful comments are from his Guestbook:
From a childhood friend:
Dave and I have been friends for 23 years. My fondest childhood memories all include him. I am deeply moved by his presence in my life and now by his absence. It will be very difficult to move on with such a huge part of my life missing.
From friends whose children were taught by his father:
Our hearts and prayers go to all the Sharrett family. We fondly remember "Bean" as his dad called him. Our children were taught by David Sharrett and his pride in "Bean" was contagious.
Pfc. Sharrett entered the Army in August 2006 and arrived at Fort Campbell in December 2006. His awards and decorations include: National Defense Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; and Weapons Qualification, M4, (expert).
Pfc. Sharrett is survived by his wife, Heather Shell, of Oak Grove, his parents, David H. Sharrett Sr. of Oakton and Kimberly Drummond of Strasburg, Va., and two younger brothers.
Thank you, Pfc. Sharrett. Your mission is done.
Pfc. Danny L. Kimme, 27, of Fisher, Illinois
Pfc. Kimme died Jan. 16 in Balad, Iraq of wounds he suffered in Balad, Iraq when he was attacked by grenade and small arms fire during combat operations. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
Pfc. Kimme’s young wife, Corrine, is expecting the couple’s first child in April.
People from across the country coming together [a]fter the loss of a Champaign county soldier.
It's the friends of Kimme that are picking up where he left off, to care for his young wife and baby girl on the way.
"I'm going to be there every step of the way," says Travis Rose.
Before his friend Danny Kimme left for Iraq he asked him if anything would happen while he was away, to be the godfather to his unborn little girl.
"I can't think of anybody I'd rather do it for than Danny(,)" (Rose said).
He said yes, with no hesitation but never thought the day would come when it would become a reality.
"I wish it was under different circumstances, I wish he could be here with me through it but I'm just going to do what I have to do."
He says to be anything like Danny Kimme would be an honor.
He'll never forget the last time he heard his voice.
"His voice on the phone sounded just like he was home, nothing ever shook that guy."
"I'm still going to try and be the father figure that he would have wanted and teach the values that he would have wanted(,)" (Rose said).
"Danny wasn't always the guy who lived in an abundance of stuff that you could hold in your hand or keep in your pocket, that guy carried more heart in him than any of our friends carry or I carry and I'll always be proud to call him my friend."
On Friday, Danny Kimme’s brother-in-law posted this heartbreaking note on the Illinois home page blog:
For those of you who have not yet heard my little sister Corinne lost her husband yesterday. Danny and Corinne are expecting a little girl in about 3 months.
Danny was a member of the US Army and died serving his country sometime around 2 days ago. Details are still unclear as to exactly what happened but he is gone.
Corinne grew up in Urbana. IL and met Danny here. Danny had lived in Urbana for the last 5 or so years. Danny was very good friends with Travis Rose, Tony Anders, Adam Heath, Ryan Bahler, and myself, Mike Johnstone. Danny had many other friends and will be missed dearly.
Danny was a little crazy, sometimes impulsive and over the top but, one thing I know for sure is that he loved my sister. He was very excited about becoming a father and even though he wanted a son, Corinne had told me having a little girl was growing on him.
Danny had been in Iraq since September and was trying to be home for his daughter’s birth.
All I wish was that he could be there for them the way he wanted too but, now it is up to us as family and friends to give whatever support Corinne and their baby will need. This is a very hard and emotional time for his and our family. I just want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. My sister has asked that she is given some time to cope with everything that is going on as I am sure you all can understand. I will keep everyone posted with information regarding the funeral and visitation as soon as I know.
Now the most important thing, is that we do everything we can for my sister and their little girl who is going to be born without her father.
Pfc. Kimme entered the Army in October 2006 and arrived at Fort Campbell in March 2007. His awards and decorations include: National Defense Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; and Weapons Qualification, M4, (expert).
Pfc. Kimme is survived by his wife, Corinne, of Fort Campbell and his parents, Douglas Kimme of Fisher, Ill., and Patricia Barry of Jacksonville, Ark.
Thank you, Pfc. Kimme. Your mission is done.
Spc. Sigsbee died Jan. 16 in Balad, Iraq of wounds he suffered in Balad, Iraq, when he was attacked by grenade and small arms fire during combat operations. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
Everyday you don't get a bad phone call, is a day you go on, his mother said.
An Oneida County family is preparing to say a final goodbye to their son.
Sigsbee joined the Army in October 2005, arrived at Fort Campbell in April 2006.
He was injured just outside Balad in July 2006, suffering numerous burns when the tank he was in was damaged by a roadside bomb. The following month, he celebrated his 20th birthday at a party at his hometown American Legion hall.
Sigsbee is survived by his parents, James and Susan Sigsbee, of Waterville.
"He was my G.I. John," said Susan.
John looked up to his grandfather, and followed in his footsteps from the time he could walk. "On family day down here at the local reserve here, proud grandpa took the 3 boys and myself and from the time he laid eyes on the helicopter on the lawn, it was pretty much a given where he was going he was taken up with it."
John was so taken up with being in the army that he was on his second tour. He was badly injured in 2006, when two IEDs exploded under him. The Sigsbees still have the vest he was wearing that day, and the Purple Heart he was awarded for making it through it.
"The not knowing, having gone through one bad phone call, you live day to day and you begin to think, what gets you through is everyday you don't get a bad phone call, is a day you go on."
The Sigsbees plan to bury their son at the Saratoga National Cemetery. No word yet on when that will be.
On Friday, in honor of their soldier, an American flag flew proudly at the Sigsbee house in Waterville. John's mother, Susan, says it's her mission to show people how important it is to support the troops.
And as the family is grieving their loss, they're remembering John Sigsbee for his smile, his laugh, and most of all, his dedication to his country.
"In his short lifetime, obviously he has achieved more than most people do in their whole lifetime," said Susan Sigsbee, his mother. "He's my hero. He's always been my hero. Always will be."
Spc. Sigsbee’s community is "devastated."
Debra Johnson remembered how she tried talking injured Army Spc. John Sigsbee into not returning to Iraq during a gathering two years ago at her house.
"I kept saying ... ‘you are done,’" recalled Johnson, Sigsbee’s neighbor. ‘You have given all that you have.’ And he said, ‘No, I want to go back’. He was totally Army."
One of her worst fears came true this week when the 21-year-old Waterville native and Purple Heart recipient was killed along with two other soldiers during combat operations Wednesday in Balad, Iraq, according to Army reports. He is the fifth area native to die in the war in Iraq.
"The community is devastated," Johnson said Thursday night. "It is not something that happens in a small town," she said.
Johnson recalled Thursday how her son Wade and Sigsbee were close friends. As kids, they would play "Army" in her backyard and on the streets. She remembered making popsicles for the kids in the neighborhood.
A 2004 graduate of the Waterville High School, Sigsbee was remembered as a happy kid with a unique laugh.
In August 2006, Sigsbee returned from Iraq to celebrate his 20th birthday at a party with family and friends at Helmuth-Ingalls American Legion Post after suffering second-degree burns on his face and neck, and third-degree burns on his wrists.
Sigsbee had spoken to students at Waterville High School about his experiences in the war and what it’s like being in the Army. School Superintendent James Van Wormer said Sigsbee will forever be an inspiration to the students as someone who lived his passion.
"He had a mission," Wormer said Thursday night. "He wanted to support his comrades. Just like how he was at school. He was a very good friend ... very committed to his friends."
"Yes, John was a hero," he said. "He was always doing extraordinary things in his own way."
Spc. Sigsbee entered the Army in October 2005 and arrived at Fort Campbell in April 2006. His awards and decorations include: Purple Heart; National Defense Service Ribbon; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Combat Infantry Badge; and Weapons Qualification, M4, (expert).
Spc. Sigsbee is survived by his parents, James and Susan, of Waterville, N.Y.
Thank you, Spc. Sigsbee. Your mission is done.
To date, 3927 members of the United States military have lost their lives in Iraq. Of these, 100 have been women. The death toll thus far for January is already 23. More than 30,000 men and women have been wounded, and 135 have taken their own lives while on active duty. All of the fatalities can be seen here. The Department of Defense Press Releases, from which the information at the start of each entry in this diary was drawn, can be seen here. The death toll among Iraqis is unknown, but is at least 100,000.
To date, 480 members of the United States military have lost their lives in Afghanistan. The death toll thus far for 2008 is 5. 279 members of the military from other countries have also lost their lives.
Other sites have stories, video, pictures and remembrances, including: Honor the Fallen.
If you want to do something to assist our military and their families, please visit anysoldier.com or Fisher House. If you have frequent flyer miles you would like to donate to hospitalized veterans or their families, please see Fisher House’s Hero Miles program. Finally, if you would like to assist the animal companions of our deployed military, information is available here.
And don’t forget them when they get home! Read welcomebackveterans.org to learn what you can do.
I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and is currently maintained by Sandy on Signal, monkeybiz, silvercedes, MsWings, greenies, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, Wee Mama, twilight falling, labwitchy, moneysmith, joyful, roses, SisTwo, Avila, SpamNunn and me, noweasels. These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but, we believe, an important service to those Americans who have died, and to our community’s respect for and remembrance of them. If you would like to volunteer, even once a month, please contact Sandy on Signal, monkeybiz, silvercedes or me, noweasels.
As you read this diary, please consider that the families and friends of those profiled here also may read it and that many members of our community have served in Iraq or Afghanistan or have loved ones currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the very proud daughter of a Navy pilot, and the granddaughter of a Marine pilot and a submariner, I hope that the comments tonight will demonstrate our respect for the sacrifices of our fallen military and their families, whatever our personal feelings about the war and occupation happen to be.