Jason L. Paton
Staff Sergeant, United States Army
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1039-07
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of 14 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died August 22, 2007, in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed.
Killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington:
Captain Corry P. Tyler,
29, of Georgia.
Also killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii:
Captain Derek A. Dobogai,
26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
For more information related to the deaths of Tyler, Flynn, Tallman and Bell, the media may contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0152, (253) 967-0147 or after hours at (253) 967-0015 (ask for the Public Affairs Officer on call).
For more information related to the deaths of Dobogai, Paton, McLead, Bouffard, Brodnick, Harmon, Hubbard, Hook, Pollard and Seideman, the media may contact the U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii public affairs office at (808) 656-3159 or (808) 656-3157.
Group Burial Funeral Services: Friday, 24 October 2008: Arlington National Cemetery
RICKEY L BELL, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JEREMY P BOUFFARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
PHILLIP BRODNICK, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
DEREK A DOBOGAI, Captain, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
PAUL J FLYNN, Chief Warrant Officer 2, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JOSHUA C HARMON, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
MICHAEL A HOOK, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
NATHAN A HUBBARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
GARRETT I MCLEAD, Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JASON L PATON, Staff Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JESSY G POLLARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
TYLER R SEIDEMAN, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
MATTHEW L TALLMAN, Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
CORRY TYLER, Captain, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
Honoring Fallen 14 With 'Quiet Strength'
By Mark Berman
Courtesy of The Washington Post
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Four Black Hawk helicopters skimmed overhead against the backdrop of a gray, cloudy sky. Below, more than 150 people brought together by tragedy and united in grief gathered yesterday to pay tribute to 14 soldiers honored at Arlington National Cemetery.
The soldiers were killed August 22, 2007, in a helicopter crash in Multaka, Iraq. Each had been buried separately. But 14 months after the accident, which was caused by mechanical failure, family and friends bundled together on a chilly October morning for a group tribute.
The mourners followed a horse-drawn caisson bearing a single flag-cloaked silver coffin up Bradley Drive. The coffin was carried to Section 60 of the cemetery and placed amid a bevy of red, white and blue flowers.
As part of the service, folded flags were given to parents and siblings, widows and a best friend. Each flag was touched for a moment to the coffin before being handed to the loved ones of the fallen soldiers.
The soldiers were between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. They hailed from 11 states, spanning from California to Massachusetts.
Captain Corry P. Tyler, 29, of Woodbine, Georgia, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1999 and had deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2006. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, North Carolina, was a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot with a decade of service.
The eldest soldier, Sergeant Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, California, was a tall, easygoing man and a devoted father, family members told the Los Angeles Times.
The youngest soldiers were Corporal Joshua S. Harmon, of Mentor, Ohio, and Specialist Tyler R. Seideman, of Lincoln, Arkansas, both 20. Harmon, a medic, had married his wife, Kristin, 84 days before his death, she told the News-Herald in Ohio. Seideman, who loved to joke, was a generous person who would "give you the shirt off his back if you needed it," said his best friend, Jeremy Bolivear, at a memorial service honoring the soldier, according to the Morning News in Arkansas.
Specialist Rickey L. Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Missouri, joined the military in 2005 after graduating from high school.
Tyler, Flynn, Tallman and Bell were assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Lewis, Washington.
Captain Derek A. Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was selfless, kind and too modest to boast about his accomplishments, his family said in a statement last year. "Therefore, we will honor him with quiet strength," relatives said.
Staff Sergeant Jason L. Paton, 25, of Poway, California, was to be married November 18, 2007, family members told the Los Angeles Times. He had deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before, and his second deployment to Iraq was scheduled to end three weeks after the helicopter crash.
Sergeant Garrett I. McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas, liked surfing, skateboarding and playing soccer. He enlisted shortly after his birthday in May 2002 because of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, according to the Rockport Pilot.
Corporal Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Massachusetts, was a jokester and a loyal, dedicated man who loved his wife Amanda, son Caleb and the Boston Red Sox. Nearly 1,000 mourners attended his funeral last year, according to the Boston Globe.
Corporal Phillip J. Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Illinois, was "the life of the party," a friend wrote on the guest book of a Web site dedicated to his memory.
Corporal Nathan C. Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, California, was one of three brothers serving in Iraq. Marine Lance Corporal Jared Hubbard was killed in 2004, so Nathan and Jason Hubbard enlisted to honor their brother's sacrifice. Jason Hubbard was in the same platoon as Nathan and in a helicopter ordered to secure the crash site, according to CNN.
Specialist Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, was excited to come home because his fiancee, Susan Fetterman, was pregnant, according to the Altoona Mirror. Mere weeks after the crash, she gave birth to their son, Mason.
Corporal Jessy G. Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Missouri, embraced and believed in what he was doing and would tell family members about jumping out of planes at night, they told the Associated Press.
Dobogai, Paton, McLead, Bouffard, Brodnick, Harmon, Hubbard, Hook, Pollard and Seideman were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Yesterday's burial brought to 447 the number
of Iraq war casualties buried, memorialized or inurned at Arlington National
Paton, 25, of Poway, California, was killed August 22, 2007, when his helicopter crashed in Multaka. He was a 2000 high school graduate and was assigned to Schofield Barracks.
You could see in Jason's personality a sense of duty to country, said Wayne Branstetter, Paton's high school wrestling coach.
He was a very hard worker. He loved training, Branstetter said. He just fit in and had a great personality. He had a serving attitude. It was not all about him.
He and his fiancee, Nikki Palmer, were to be married November 18. His other loves were a 1968 Mustang and surfing.
Everyone wanted to be around him. He was just so much fun. His laughter was contagious, said Liz Reese, who had known Paton since they were both 11.
He was a happy person. He would do anything
for people. He was a tough kid who had done a lot, Bilbrey said. He hoped
to one day be a Ranger instructor at Fort Benning.
9 September 2007:
On the day that his son’s wedding invitation arrived, Robert Paton saw two Army officers walking up his driveway. He knew there would be no wedding.
His son, Staff Sergeant Jason L. Paton of Poway, California, was to be married November 18 after returning from Iraq. But as the officers informed his father last month, Paton was among 14 soldiers killed August 22 in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Multaka, Iraq, north of Baghdad.
Paton, 25, an Army Ranger, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He was buried Thursday at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on San Diego’s Point Loma.
One after another, family members described Paton as unfailingly concerned about others.
“He cared the world about other people,” his father said. “He’d go out of his way to help anybody – and that’s reflected both in his personal life and his military life.”
A 2000 graduate of Poway High School, Paton had completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. His second deployment to Iraq was to have ended in July but was extended as part of the troop surge ordered by President Bush.
Even so, he was three weeks from coming home when the Black Hawk helicopter experienced mechanical failure during a nighttime operation.
After his planned wedding, Paton and his fiancee, Nikki Palmer, were to move to Georgia, where he was to serve as a training officer for Army Rangers.
Palmer was a UC San Diego softball player, and Paton proposed to her at home plate after a game in March while he was home on leave.
“He was an amazing man,” Palmer said. “He cared so much about everyone else.”
Recalling the day when she learned that his deployment had been extended, Palmer said, “I was really upset and I cried. He said, ‘I know it sucks but … this is what I do.’ He was a really good soldier. He took his job very seriously.”
Paton joined the Civil Air Patrol as a youngster, and after graduating from high school told his mother, Kim Bilbrey, that he had decided to enlist in the Army.
His version of relaxing was never sitting still, according to family and friends, who said Paton loved surfing, water skiing and riding dirt bikes in the desert.
He kept quiet, at least with his family, about his military exploits. When he was home, it was as if he had turned off a switch and never spoke about the military, his father said
“I never pried or anything,” he said. “I often said, ‘When you’re all done with this, we’ll talk politics,’ but he believed in fighting for his country.”
Paton’s stepfather, Jim Valenzuela, recalled the time he was assigned as a substitute teacher in Paton’s eighth-grade class. Valenzuela said he was spared much of the misbehavior that is the common lot of substitutes because the students had such high regard for his stepson.
“He was always trying to make life a little bit easier for anybody else,” Valenzuela said.
Paton’s cousin Shane Coffelt, 34, of Seattle recalled a string of memorable family reunions and trips with Paton to the desert. Despite the physical distance between them and a nine-year age difference, Coffelt said, they were almost like brothers.
Paton was “always smiling, larger than life,” Coffelt said. “He was never real connected with material things. Family and friends were always more important to him.”
Posted: 29 October 2008