Special operations troops honor fallen comrade with memorial run

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2009/April/090416-01.html

KABUL, Afghanistan (Courtesy of USFOR-Afghanistan Public Affairs, April 16, 2009) – More than 150 troops with Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan recently gathered on Bagram Airfield’s main drag for an early-morning five-kilometer memorial run in honor of a fallen comrade.

The event was held in remembrance of Sgt. 1st Class Stefen Sammons, who died on Jan. 5, 2009, at Camp Atterbury, Ind., where his National Guard unit was conducting training prior to their current deployment in Afghanistan.

Sammons, a senior communications noncommissioned officer, served with the 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), from Kenova, W. Va. Sammons, from Winfield, W. Va., had deployed to Iraq with the unit in the past and was preparing for an Afghanistan rotation when he suffered a heart attack during a training event.

During his time with the 2nd BN, 19th SFG (A), Sammons had mobilized for Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Joint Guardian and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Friends and colleagues remembered Sammons as a devoted family man with a strong sense of God and country.

“He was deeply religious and extremely dedicated to the military and America,” said one long-time friend and fellow 2nd BN, 19th SFG (A) communicator.

Sammons enjoyed reminiscing about the eight years he spent in the Marine Corps and loved that his nickname was ‘Gunney,’ his friend added.

Sammons enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1992 and was assigned to the 2nd BN, 19th SFG (A). The avid hunter and sportsman took great pride in his Army career, notably his status as a Jumpmaster. Sammons always took his role as a senior paratrooper very seriously as he was entrusted with the lives of his battle buddies.

“Stefen would have appreciated us holding a run in his honor and would have been proud of today’s participation. He was a good friend and colleague to many and will be deeply missed,” his friend said.

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Members of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan recently gathered on Bagram Airfield to hold a memorial run in honor of Army Sgt. 1st Class Stefen Sammons. Sammons, a member of the 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), passed away while conducting training prior to his unit’s current deployment to Afghanistan. (Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan courtesy photo)
 
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