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Marilyn L. Gabbard
Sergeant Major, United States Army
Iowa State Flag
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 081-07
January 24, 2007

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of 12 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died in Baghdad, Iraq, on January 20, 2007, when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter they were in crashed.

Killed were:

Colonel Brian D. Allgood, 46, of Oklahoma, who was assigned to the 30th Medical Brigade, Europe Regional Medical Command, Heidelberg, Germany.

Staff Sergeant Darryl D. Booker, 37, of Midlothian, Virginia, who was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, Virginia Army National Guard, Sandston, Virginia.

Sergeant First Class John G. Brown, 43, of Little Rock, Arkansas, who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Arkansas.

Lieuetnant Colonel David C. Canegata III, 50, of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was assigned to the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Command Sergeant Major Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, Iowa, who was assigned to Joint Forces Headquarters, Iowa Army National Guard, Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.

Command Sergeant Major Roger W. Haller, 49, of Davidsonville, Maryland, who was assigned to the 70th Regiment, Regional Training Institute - Maryland, Maryland Army National Guard, Reisterstown, Maryland.

Colonel Paul M. Kelly, 45, of Stafford, Virginia, who was assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Virginia Army National Guard in Blackstone, Virginia.

Sergeant First Class Floyd E. Lake, 43, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was assigned to the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Corporal Victor M. Langarica, 29, of Decatur, Georgia, who was assigned to the 86th Signal Battalion, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

Captain Sean E. Lyerly, 31, of Pflugerville, Texas., who was assigned to the Texas Army National Guard’s 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, 36th Infantry Division, Austin, Texas.

Captain Michael V. Taylor, 40, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Arkansas.

First Sergeant William T. Warren, 48, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Arkansas.

The incident is under investigation.

For information on Allgood, the media can contact the European Regional Medical Command public affairs office at 011-49-6221-17-3317.

For information on Booker and Kelly, the media can contact the Virginia National Guard public affairs office at (434) 298-6107.

For information on Brown, Taylor and Warren, the media can contact the Arkansas National Guard public affairs office at (501) 212-5020.

For information on Canegata and Lake, the media can contact the Virgin Islands National Guard public affairs office at (340) 712-7750.

For information on Gabbard, the media can contact the Iowa National Guard public affairs office at (515) 252-4582.

For information on Haller, the media can contact the Maryland National Guard public affairs office at (410) 576-6179.

For information on Langarica, the media can contact the Fort Huachuca public affairs office at (520) 533-2752.

For information on Lyerly, the media can contact the Texas National Guard public affairs office at (512) 782-1034.



JOHNSTON, Iowa — The first woman promoted to the rank of Command Sergeant Major in the Iowa Army National Guard was among those killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Iraq, guard officials said January 24, 2007.

Command Sergeant Major Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, was a passenger on the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter when it crashed January 20, 2007, northeast of Baghdad, officials said. She was the first woman in the history of the Iowa National Guard to be killed in combat, Iowa National Guard spokesman Lieuetnant Colonel Greg Hapgood said.

ML Gabbard PHOTO

Military officials said Gabbard’s helicopter might have been shot down, but the investigation was continuing. Twelve National Guard soldiers from seven states and the U.S. Virgin Islands died in the crash.

Gabbard was 19th Iowa National Guard member and the 50th service member with Iowa ties to be killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gabbard was born in 1960 in Boone and graduated from Boone High School in 1979. She served in the National Guard for 27 years, starting in 1979, ascending to the rank of sergeant major. In her most recent post, Gabbard served as state operations sergeant major at the Iowa National Guard’s Joint Forces Headquarters in Johnston.

Gabbard’s long tenure with the Iowa National Guard made the pain from her loss acute, Hapgood said.

“She touched so many people in so many different areas of our organization,” he said.

As the first woman promoted to her rank, Gabbard was in a position to serve as a role model to other woman soldiers in particular, Hapgood said, but Gabbard never saw herself as a trail blazer, just a soldier and a leader.

“She didn’t take it as a burden,” Hapgood said. “She embraced the fact that she had gone places other people hadn’t gone before. I think she relished having soldiers look up to her.”

Gabbard deployed from Iowa on December 16, 2006. She served as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the National Guard Affairs Team in Baghdad. It was her first deployment to the region, Hapgood said.

Gabbard leaves behind her husband, Edward Gabbard; daughter, Melissa Danielson; mother, Mary Van Cannon; brothers, Mark and Mike Van Cannon; sister, Marla Noren; two grandchildren, five stepdaughters and a stepson.


Interment ceremony set for 12 killed in crash
4 October 2007

Twelve soldiers who were killed on January 20, 2007, when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Baghdad will be honored during a group interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. October 12, 2007.

The soldiers, who belonged to a number of active Army and Army National Guard units, are: Colonel Brian D. Allgood, 46, of Okla. Colonel Paul M. Kelly, 45, of Stafford, Virginia, Lieuetnant Colonel David C. Canegata III, 50, of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Captain Michael V. Taylor, 40, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Captain Sean E. Lyerly, 31, of Pflugerville, Texas, Command Sergeant Major Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, Iowa, Command Sergeant Major Roger W. Haller, 49, of Davidsonville, Maryland, First Sergeant William T. Warren, 48, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Sergeant First Class Floyd E. Lake Sr., 43, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sergeant First Class Class John G. Brown, 43, of Little Rock, Arkansas, Staff Sergeant Darryl D. Booker, 37, of Midlothian, Virginia, and Corporal Victor M. Langarica, 29, of Decatur, Georgia.

After the ceremony, Lieutenant General Clyde Vaughn, director of the Army National Guard, will host a reception for all 12 families at the Army Guard's Readiness Center in Arlington, Virginia.

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted: 4 October 2007 Updated: 14 May 2008
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ML Gabbard Gravesite PHOTO May 2008
Photo By Michael Robert Patterson, May 2008