'Dagger' Brigade Holds Memorial Service For Two Fallen Soldiers
(May 30, 2011)
|BAGHDAD (5/28/2011) — Soldiers and leaders from around the 2nd “Dagger” Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and United States Division – Center came together for a memorial service May 26 at Camp Liberty, Iraq, to celebrate the lives and mourn the passing of two of the Dagger brigade's fallen heroes, Sgt. 1st Class Clifford Beattie and Pfc. Ramon Mora Jr. |
Beattie, 37, and Mora, 19, both with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st “Dragon” Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 2nd AAB, 1st Inf. Div., died Sunday, May 22, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.
“We mourn the loss of two true American heroes, Sgt. 1st Class Clifford Beattie and Pfc. Ramon Mora. They were husbands, a father, brother, friends, leaders and comrades-in-arms,” said Lt. Col. Michael Henderson, commander of 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment. “We are trained to understand that loss is an inherent risk in our chosen profession, but no matter how much you may prepare for a loss of those around you, the grief will always be there.”
Beattie, a native of Tempe, Ariz., was a highly-regarded platoon sergeant who had been in the Army since 1994, almost as long as Mora was alive. A former drill sergeant and a deadeye marksman, Beattie was the very definition of a noncommissioned officer, Henderson said.
“His professionalism, optimism, and dedication to his Soldiers was seen and felt throughout the brigade, and is evident in the loss felt by so many in the audience here today,” he said. “He was always seen leading from the front, the optimistic leader who provided comfort and inspired confidence in all those around him.”
Col. Paul T. Calvert, right, commander of 2nd “Dagger” Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney R. Lewis, left, senior enlisted advisor of 2nd AAB, 1st Infantry Division, pay their respects at the fallen soldier battle crosses of Sgt. 1st Class Clifford Beattie and Pfc. Ramon Mora Jr. May 26, 2011 at Camp Liberty, Iraq. Beattie, 37, a Tempe, Ariz., native, and Mora, 19, a Covina, Calif., native, both of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, died May 22, 2011 of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. Photo by Army Sgt. Daniel Stoutamire
|First Lt. Reece Doty, who served alongside Beattie as his platoon leader with HHC, 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, leaned on Beattie's considerable experience and know-how, especially when the proverbial chips were down and a decision had to be made in difficult circumstances.|
“With critical, ‘game-time decisions' such as personnel moves, truck moves, or mission-essential tasks, I always went with the course of action Sgt. 1st Class Beattie recommended, and never was I disappointed or had any regret with such decisions.”
Doty held up a paper target that Beattie had once used on the small-arms range at Joint Security Station Constitution, Iraq. Where the upper-torso-and-head-shaped silhouette, the aiming point for shooters on a range, should have been, was almost completely destroyed by bullet holes from Beattie's accurate, sustained fire.
“The target has been hanging in our platoon [command post] ever since,” Doty said. “I guess you could say he was an expert marksman.”
While Beattie was the charismatic, experienced, and knowledgeable leader, Mora, a native of Covina, Calif., had only been in the Army since Jan. 25, 2010. However, despite his tender age, he had impressed his comrades with his professional demeanor.
“Always a stern, stoic type of soldier, Pfc. Mora could be counted on to accomplish his assigned tasks; no matter how big, small, easy or difficult,” Henderson said. “To him, failure was not an option.”
|Mora's team leader in HHC, 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, Sgt. Derek Forseth, said he and Mora had developed a close relationship, and that Mora always strove to be his best and never let his buddies down.|
“He had a heart of gold...such a huge heart that his mistakes went right to his heart,” Forseth said. “They went straight to his heart because he drove to be the best soldier he could possibly be and letting me down tore him right open.”
Henderson acknowledged that the void left by the loss of Beattie and Mora could never be filled, but urged the soldiers of the Dragon Battalion and the Dagger Brigade to persevere in their memories.
“There are two holes in our formation where two great men once stood,” he said. “It is right for us to mourn for such a great loss, but I ask you all to strive to fill the void they left behind inspired by the memories of how these heroes lived.”
By Army Sgt. Daniel Stoutamire
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs
Provided through DVIDS
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