NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1004-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died August 11, 2007, in Arab Jabour, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georiga.
Staff Sergeant William D. Scates, 31, of Oklahoma City,Okalhoma
Sergeant Scott L. Kirkpatrick, 26, of Reston, Virginia
Sergeant Andrew W. Lancaster, 23, of Stockton, Illinois
Specialist JustinO. Penrod, 24, of Mahomet, Illinois
17 August 2007:
Sergeant Scott L. Kirkpatrick, 26, of Sterling, Virginia, was one of four soldiers killed Saturday after an improvised explosive device went off near their post in Arab Jabour, southeast of Baghdad. According to the Department of Defense, Kirkpatrick was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, in Fort Stewart, Georgia. He was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and aspired to a career in intelligence services.
According to Kirkpatrick's uncle, Roy Deppa of Montgomery County, Maryland, Kirkpatrick's family learned about his death Saturday evening. Kirkpatrick had not considered a career in the Army until September 11, Deppa said.
“A few years ago, he decided that he needed to make more meaning out of his life and was inspired by the events of 9/11 to do more for his country,” Deppa said. “The best path to do that was to join the Army and he did. It was a complete surprise to me, but he committed himself to it completely.
“September 11 really affected him and he just wanted to make a difference. I've always been proud of him.”
Kirkpatrick grew up in Frederick, Maryland, and later moved to Herndon, where he lived for several years before moving to Sterling. Kirkpatrick was a 1998 graduate of Park View High School where “he was the guy who thought he was smarter than his teachers,” Deppa said.
It was there that Kirkpatrick developed an interest in creative writing and theater. He also later became involved with the Elden Street Players.
According to Richard Klare, executive producer of ESP, Kirkpatrick helped build sets for the theater group and performed in a few productions, including “Freedom of the City” and “Runaways.”
“The last time that I saw him was about eight years ago, but I remember he was a very decent young man. He was always willing to help and was gifted as an artist,” Klare said. “Anything like this is certainly sad and it just seems like such a shame.”
Kirkpatrick was also involved in poetry slam, a competition at which poets read or recite original works that are later scored. In 2000, Kirkpatrick became DC's newest Grand Slam Champion. He attended a variety of competitions and gave poetry readings in Chicago and other cities across the United States, Deppa said. Shortly after high school, Kirkpatrick attended George Mason University before enlisting in the Army in 2004. Deppa said his nephew arrived in Iraq in May and was expected to serve another 15 months overseas.
His wife, Christy Blasingame, who he married during a leave in his first tour, which began in January 2005, survives Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick is also survived by his parents, Edward and Martha Kirkpatrick, of Dickerson, Md., a younger brother, Kevin Kirkpatrick, also of Dickerson, and a host of family and friends. Funeral services will be held at Arlington cemetery August 23, 2007, at 11 a.m.
17 August 2007:
Sergeant Scott L. Kirkpatrick, 26, was among four soldiers who died August 11, 2007, in Arab Jabour, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device.
Kirkpatrick grew up in Sterling, Virginia, and graduated from Park View High School in 1998.
After high school, Kirkpatrick spent time in various jobs and lived in Fairfax, Herndon and Reston before he enlisted in 2004 to the shock of both friends and family.
The decision “came out of left field,” according to his uncle, Roy Deppa, who said Kirkpatrick was inspired by the events on September 11 to “do something helpful for the country.”
Kirkpatrick was a poet long before he was a soldier. In high school he found his passion in theater and writing, acting in high school and afterwards participating in the Elden Street Players in Herndon.
“He was the best out of everyone I knew for telling a story,” said Tony Brown, 25, a friend of Kirkpatrick's since middle school. “[Enlisting] was the last thing anybody saw him doing, he used to stay up all night reading books.”
Soon after enlisting Kirkpatrick married his longtime girlfriend Christy Blasingame during a 10-day furlough from his first tour in 2005.
Kirkpatrick left for his second tour of duty in Iraq in May of this year. On his myspace page, Kirkpatrick continued to post poems he wrote while overseas and posted pictures of smiling Iraqis.
“He had no malice toward these people. … He's the exact ideal of what every soldier should be,” Brown said.
Sergeant Billy Seabreeze, 26, knew Kirkpatrick since they were 12 years old, growing up mere blocks from each other. Both men enlisted in the Army at the same time and were assigned to different divisions. Kirkpatrick's unit replaced Seabreeze's in Sadr City in 2005.
“He really believed in what he was doing over there. It's an experience and he had that kind of existential attitude that he was there for the life experience, all politics aside,” he said.
Seabreeze, who is recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from an injury in March, said Kirkpatrick had spoken to him on line days before he was killed and asked about Web site links for federal jobs. Seabreeze said though Kirkpatrick was fully dedicated to his mission, conditions in Iraq had become even more dangerous lately.
Deppa said that recent events had inspired Kirkpatrick to consider returning to school for teaching after his enlistment was over. Through both his tours, Deppa said Kirkpatrick continued to write.
His friends remember a self-deprecating jokester who wore combat boots long before he enlisted.
“I was kind of surprised he joined because he couldn't even go up stairs without tripping over his own feet, he always wore combat boots,” said Howard Brown.
Despite the surprise that came after he enlisted, Kirkpatrick excelled as a soldier. He became a sergeant within two years of enlisting, an ascent Seabreeze said is known as a fast-track promotion.
“He amazed everybody; he got promoted just about as fast as possible,” he said.
Kirkpatrick was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Stewart, Georgia. He is survived by his wife Christie Kirkpatrick, brother Kevin, mother Marti and father Ed. A burial will be held at Arlington National Cemetery August 23, 2007, at 11 a.m.
26 May 2008:
Martha Kirkpatrick is planning to visit her son’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery today, giving new meaning to the heartfelt holiday she always observed, but not like this.
“I’ve never had a Memorial Day before,” she said.
Her son, Sergeant Scott Kirkpatrick, of Reston, was killed by a booby trap bomb as he was pursuing a sniper on August 11, 2007, during his second tour in Iraq. He was 26.
As the nation honors its fallen soldiers, more families from across the region and the country celebrate the men and women they knew and loved.
Kirkpatrick grew up a rebel, became a champion slam poet and died a soldier, so shaken by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that he joined the military in a decision that, as a younger man, he would have thought impossible.
“Scott was a very passionate liberal poet and resisted authority his entire life and was certainly the last person that anybody on Earth, including Scott, expected to join the Army,” Martha Kirkpatrick said. “9/11 affected him very deeply and he wanted to do something.”
It was a complete “about-face,” recalled Roy Deppa, Fitzpatrick’s uncle. But once Kirkpatrick got involved in something, from theater to poetry to war, he brought an uncommon intensity. “He just got completely gung ho into it,” Deppa said.
From the beginning, Kirkpatrick said he would have rather been in Afghanistan, his mother said, “but they don’t ask you where you want to go.”
After Kirkpatrick finished his first tour in Sadr City, he braced for a more dangerous assignment.
“He knew where he was headed and he knew it was going to be a very, as he would say, ‘it was going to be bloody this time,’ ” his mother said.
He died three months into his second tour, during a patrol in Arab Jabour, south of Baghdad.
A sniper fatally shot one of the men in Kirkpatrick’s unit before vanishing into a house in the community long held by insurgents. Kirkpatrick and three other sergeants, including his best friend in the Army, pursued the sniper into a house that had been booby-trapped with a bomb. One of the soldiers hit the pressure trigger, and the blast killed all four.
Kirkpatrick received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. As the family celebrates those honors, they also point to the medal few other soldiers have, one that celebrates the unique nature of the man: D.C. slam poet champion of 2000.
KIRKPATRICK, SCOTT LANGE
- SGT US ARMY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 11/11/1980
- DATE OF DEATH: 08/11/2007
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 8717
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard