Thunder Soldiers Honor Two Fallen Comrades In Faryab
(April 13, 2011)
A memorial stand of Staff Sgt. Scott
Burgess and Staff Sgt. Michael Lammerts was on display during a memorial ceremony at Camp Griffin, Afghanistan, April 9,
2011. The soldiers were killed in action while performing their duties in Maymana District April 4, 2011.
CAMP GRIFFIN, Afghanistan (4/10/2011)
Leaders and soldiers
with 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team honored the lives of Staff
Sgt. Michael Lammerts and Staff Sgt. Scott Burgess during a memorial
ceremony here April 9.
The soldiers were killed in action
while performing their duties in Maymana District April 4.
For many soldiers with 4th Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters
Battery, 1st Battalion, 84th Field Artillery Regiment, Lammerts and
Burgess were not only two outstanding leaders, they were two dear
“Before I knew Sergeant Burgess as a soldier, I knew
him as a friend who helped instill in me the values and work ethic
to be the best American soldier I could be, and also a great father
to my child,” said Pfc. Jared Weeks, a Chattanooga, Tenn., native,
now a dismounted squad automatic weapon gunner with 4th Platoon.
“I will always remember the times we shared as we worked
together, and even though you may be gone, you will never be
forgotten,” said Sgt. David Salazar, a Harlingen, Texas native, now
a squad leader with 4th Platoon.
What seemed to be a routine
engagement with Afghan forces in Maymana District, quickly turned
into a cowardly act of violence that claimed the lives of the two
“The soldiers were escorting our combat
advisers on April 4th, to meet with Afghan Border Police leaders at
their headquarters. While pulling security, a rouge police officer
opened fire on Lammerts and Burgess while they weren't looking,”
said Capt. James Collado, a New Providence, N.J., native, now the
Collado added the loss of any service member
is tragic, but the loss of two excellent non-commissioned officers
in a single day is even harder to fathom.
The ceremony began
with the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” followed by personal
remarks from leaders and friends of the fallen.
Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 84th Field Artillery Regiment, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, pay their tributes to their two fallen comrades, Staff Sgt. Michael Lammerts and Staff Sgt. Scott Burgess, during a memorial ceremony at Camp Griffin, Afghanistan, April 9,
2011. The soldiers were killed in action while performing their duties in Maymana District April 4,
“The questions of why and how this could happen still linger and
will perhaps forever, I am not sure there can ever be a good answer
for such a tragic loss of life,” said Lt. Col. John O'Grady, the
1-84 Field Artillery Battalion commander. “I take comfort in the
legacy these soldiers leave behind and will live my life in such a
manner to honor these two warriors.”
The memorial included a
four-minute video that chronicled military memories of Lammerts and
Burgess through pictures. At Lammerts' request just a few weeks
prior to his death, his comrades used a song written by Tim McGraw,
“If You're Reading This,” as the tribute song in the video
“The song was chosen at Lammerts' request to his platoon sergeant.
He wanted this song to be played if something happened to him. I
think this is the perfect sendoff in honoring these two stellar
NCOs,” said 1st Sgt. Joe Winstead, a Summerdale, Ala., native, now
the HHB first sergeant.
Burgess, a Fort Lewis, Wash., native,
was born Oct. 10, 1978 and began his military career Oct. 10, 2002.
He deployed once in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and once in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is survived by his wife
and two daughters.
Lammerts, a Tonawanda, N.Y., native, was
born Jan. 4, 1985 and enlisted Jan. 6, 2005. He deployed twice in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and once in support of Operation
Enduring Freedom. He leaves behind his wife, daughter and son.
With one month into the deployment, this is the first combat
loss for the Bayonet Brigade. However, soldiers with 4th Platoon are
ready to continue their mission in support of Operation Enduring
Article and photos by Army Sgt. Jazz Burney
170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Comment on this article