Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In Memory of Three Lives lost a Year ago Today!

Today we honor the life of Shannon Vautier Weaver who gave his life for our Freedom.

The following was read at his funeral by Capt. Matthew Johnson Company Commander of Alpha Company. Shannon's grandparents wanted me to share it with everyone.

Today we gather to honor the lives of not one but three American Heroes killed in Action on May 21st, 2007--Staff Sergeant Shannon Weaver, Sergeant Brian Ardron, and Corporal Michael Davis. On that evening, just as the Baghhad sun disappeared, 1st Platoon was conducting a route clearance mission in order to maintain mobility for their brother Cavalry, a task they had completed many times before. Riding in the safest vehicle - the Buffalo, SSG Weaver, SGT ARDron, CPL Davis, SPC Tauriainen, and PFC Brookshire stopped to interrogate a canal crossing for explosives or command wire. Just as Shannon came over the radio, a cowardly insurgent detonated a deep buried improvised explosive devise directly underneath their vehicle, resulting in the heartbreaking loss of three phenomenal Sappers, and wounding two others, one of who is still fighting for his life and the other paralyzed.

Staff Sergeant Weaver was no stranger to armed Conflict. He deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Again answered his call to duty, and for the last seven months has served as a squad leader and primary operator of the Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle, one of the most important tools in our inventory to find and locate roadside bombs. Shannon's niche was maintenance. He could fix anything, sometimes given absolutely nothing to fix it with. He took all the platoon's vehicles under his arms, and kept their equipment running smoothly since he received it in late October. As a commander, I relied on Shannon for his insight, guidance and advice on how to complete our complex mission. I am personally indebted to him for what he gave to the company. Physically, mentally, and spiritually strong, Shanon's true strength was in the Lord. Before every single patrol he led the platoon in prayer - a testament of his genuine devotion to God. A certain phrase from his prayer always comes to mind when I think of Shannon, "Lord protect those who are going, protect those who are staying, and protect those who are already out there."

True warriors, our fallen comrades would have wanted us to continue our combat mission, no matter what the circumstances, for they are true combat engineers -- they are Sappers.

Staff Sergeant Shannon Vautier Weaver, Sergeant Brian Daniel Ardron, and Corporal Michael Warner Davis have SP'd the eternal line of departure, and they continue to clear a route for the rest of us Sappers to someplace safer and more peaceful. I am proud to have served with such remarkable men. You will forever be in out thoughts and prayers.

Please click on the following link to see a video of SSGT Shannon Weaver......

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