Stuttgart community gathers to remember soldier who passed away
By JOHN VANDIVER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 23, 2012
STUTTGART, Germany — Staff Sgt. Wilfredo Egipciaco Jr. was a latecomer to the world of signal communication, having spent most of his career in infantry units. But in what would be his final assignment with the Army, Egipciaco made a seamless transition to radio operator and maintainer.
What he lacked in technical experience, he made up for in being a quick study who had a knack for getting the best out of other soldiers, his comrades recalled.
The 40-year-old New Jersey native, known as “Sgt. E” to his fellow soldiers, was memorialized Thursday during a ceremony at the Patch Chapel on Patch Barracks. Egipciaco, who died Feb. 1, served with the 112th Signal Battalion (Airborne), Special Operations Command Europe Signal Detachment on Patch Barracks. An exact cause is still undetermined, pending the autopsy, Army officials in Stuttgart said.
“He was the type of soldier that made my job easy,” said Capt. Matthew Songy in a commander’s tribute. “The only thing hard about him was his name.”
For 10 years, Egipciaco served as an infantryman and was assigned to units stretching from Texas and North Carolina to Italy and South Korea.
Sgt. 1st Class Donnie Gill, in a eulogy, recalled how Egipciaco’s years in a war zone brought perspective to the work in Stuttgart. When things would get crazy on the job, he would remind his teammates that “nobody is shooting at us and nothing is blowing up.”
“He would always bring a positive spin into any situation,” Gill said.
During his time as a radio technician, he made an impact on missions across eastern Europe, where he showed allies the ins and outs of special operations communication techniques.
“He was an outstanding technician,” said Songy. “He was an expert trainer.”
Egipciaco is survived by two sons, Kephrin and Kalum, and by one daughter, Estelle.