SFC Steve E. Wood Memorial

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http://sinepari.soc.mil/News/2008/October/SP-081007-01.html

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Sine Pari, Oct. 7, 2008) – It was a full House at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Chapel as Soldiers, Civilians and Family Members gathered to remember and honor Sgt. 1st Class Steve E. Wood, a Special Forces communications sergeant who died due to a long term illness in his home Sept. 20.

“Just take a look at the turnout today,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Robin Duane, 3rd Battalion, 3rd SFG (A) command sergeant major, who remarked on what an upstanding person Wood was. “They are not here out of a sense of obligation; they cleared their calendars today for Woody.”

Wood joined the Army in 1984 as a Military Police officer. Although he wasn’t enthusiastic about remaining an MP, he wanted to stay in the Army. In 1989 Wood earned his green beret as a communications sergeant, and he served in the Special Forces community for the rest of his life.

Wood had been ill for the last eight years, and he passed quietly in his sleep. The exact cause of death has not been determined.

Some of Wood’s closest friends spoke about his life, and used their words to reach out to Julie M. “Momma” Wood, Steve Wood’s mother, who was present.

“I can’t tell you how many days or weeks, or months or years, but I can tell you that it helps to think about how awesome his life was, rather than how tragic his passing,” said Duane, who has worked with and been friends with Wood since 2004.

Each speaker spoke volumes about what a truly wonderful man he was.

“Steve was a big man, with a big heart and an infectious personality, you couldn’t help but like him,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David Lafountain, command sergeant major for U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, U.S. Africa Command, who was emotional over the loss of his friend and golfing partner of 17 years.

“He was a big man. He had to be to make room for his big heart,” said Duane, citing Woods benevolence toward the stray cat population near his house. “He didn’t have a mean bone in his body.”

Not only was Wood an honorable man, but he was hailed as a model Special Forces Soldier.

Lafountain mentions Wood’s unending understanding of human nature. He recalled a time in the Pre-Ranger course when Wood was well within his right to truly punish a fellow student. Instead he took the high road.

“He understood that people make mistakes, all was forgiven and there was no point in freaking out about it,” said Lafountain.

"For those who knew Steve back then, he should have been a recruiting poster for Special Forces, he was a lean mean fighting machine,” said Mike J. Pellegrino, a civilian training specialist at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. Pellegrino has been a friend of Wood’s since 1990 when they were assigned to Operational Detachment-Alpha 316 as newly minted SF Soldiers.

“He had some medical issues and was working through some therapy and surgeries but it never stopped him from getting the job done,” said Duane, who said Wood often took his work with him to his medical appointments. “That’s just the kind of dedicated guy he was.”

Due to his illness, Wood was recently assigned to Bravo Company, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Bragg, N.C., where he assisted in taking care of wounded Soldiers and their Families.

Lafountain talked with some of the Soldiers Wood worked with at the Warrior Transition Battalion, and they had nothing but praise for Wood.

“Sergeant Wood was like a second father to me,” said one Solder, while another said, “He was the best mentor I ever had.”

All three of the speakers mentioned Wood’s affinity for golfing and all had plenty of memories and stories, enough to bring a smile to almost anyone’s face. Wood’s passing can be memorialized best by Pellegrino.
“Steve, we’ll linkup again one day, keep a tee-time open for me.”

081002-A-6160S-037.jpg

Command Sgt. Maj. David Lafountain, command sergeant major for the U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, speaks at the memorial of his long time friend Sgt. 1st Class Steven E. Wood, who passed away last week in his home near Fort Bragg, N.C. Family, friends and colleagues memorialized Sgt. 1st Class Steven E. Wood during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Chapel Oct. 2. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Marie Schult, 3rd SFG(A) PAO)
081002-A-6160S-057.jpg

Julie M. Wood, accompanied by Sgt. 1st Class Cantrell, exits the John F. Kennedy Memorial Chapel following a memorial service for her son, Sgt. 1st Class Steven E. Wood, communications sergeant 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Oct. 2. Family, friends and colleagues memorialized Wood during a ceremony at the chapel, remembering him for his good-hearted ways and his ultimate SF Soldier persona. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Marie Schult, 3rd SFG(A) PAO)
 

Montrose

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I have known Steve from the Q course and then the insanity of 1/3rd as the unit was established. We continued to work follow on assignments together, I last talked to him the day I retired. He was central to some of the craziest incidents from Kuwait City. He was a great person,and a true professional. RIP
 

car

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I have known Steve from the Q course and then the insanity of 1/3rd as the unit was established. We continued to work follow on assignments together, I last talked to him the day I retired. He was central to some of the craziest incidents from Kuwait City. He was a great person,and a true professional. RIP

RIP SFC Wood :( and condolences Montrose.
 
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