Friday, September 05, 2008

To Honor the Memory of PFC Abad

I just ordered my first Memorial Bracelet. I ordered my bracelet for PFC (now Specialist) Sergio Abad. I am a Sergeant in the United States Army, and while I was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Vicenza, Italy, PFC Abad arrived to his first duty station. He was a mortar-man assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), The Rock. I was Abads first squad leader. Basic training teaches the "basics" (hence the name", and the rest of what he learned about his chosen profession came from me and a few other NCO's. As with many new Privates assigned overseas, Abad was young. I believe he was 18 or 19 when he arrived in my squad. Overseas the drinking age is 18, so, like most young men that get stationed here, he had "a bit of fun" after he first arrived. Soon, his "wild streak" calmed down, but he was not merely one of my Soldiers. He stood out. His personality was unique. He would fight very hard for what he wanted, and would fight just as hard to help another. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 173rd in April of 2007. Due to an injury and upcoming surgery, I could not deploy. Abad was in his 15th month of a 15 month deployment. About two weeks before he was set to Re-Deploy, he and 8 other Soldiers were KIA. I will wear this bracelet to both honor the memory of PFC Sergio Abad, one of the greatest Americans, one of the greatest People, one of the greatest Heroes, one of the greatest Soldiers, and most importantly, one of the greatest FRIENDS that I have had the privilege of leading in my 9 years in the United States Army. I will also wear it as a reminder to never become complacent in a combat zone. I made it through my first two deployments, and PFC Abad had just about made it through his first. Things were being prepped to leave, bags had been sent back, but the war is not over until you are no longer in the war zone. To PFC Abad: Farewell Specialist. Stand Down, Soldier. I will take it from here. I will see you on the Great Drop-Zone in the Sky! Airborne, All The Way, High-Angle-Hell, The Rock!

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