1st AD bids farewell to two soldiers killed in Iraq
Stars and Stripes August 19, 2006
FRIEDBERG, Germany — It’s been a rough month for this community, home of the 1st Armored Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team.
“As we’re all now aware, our community has sustained a major loss with the deaths of Sgt. Beste and Staff Sgt. Storey,” Chaplain (Capt.) Robert D. Crawford said during a memorial service for the two men Friday.
Staff Sgt. Clint J. Storey, 30, of Enid, Okla., and Sgt. Bradley H. Beste, 22, of Naperville, Ill., both died when a makeshift bomb exploded near their Humvee during a combat patrol in Ramadi, Iraq, on Aug. 4.
Both men were members of Troop F, 1st Cavalry Regiment (Brigade Reconnaissance Troop), which is part of 1st Brigade Combat Team.
They are the troop’s only fatalities, and hopefully its last, said Capt. Denis Wagner, the unit’s rear detachment commander. The post has lost four other soldiers since Aug. 4.
After getting Purple Hearts for injuries they got in Iraq, both men returned to duty on the front lines. Both received their second Purple Hearts at their funerals in the U.S. on Wednesday. Both were proud to be cavalry scouts, one of the most dangerous jobs in the Army.
But when it came to style, Beste and Storey were nothing alike.
Beste was remembered for his quiet demeanor.
“My first impression was here is a young man who is the ideal quiet professional,” said Wagner, who was Beste’s platoon leader until December 2005. “This impression held throughout the time I knew him.”
Storey, on the other hand, was known for his intense and nonstop energy.
“He could play cards all night long [and] as long as he had a cup of coffee and a Red Bull the next day, he was good to go,” Crawford said.
Still, both men were dedicated to the unit, Wagner said.
Soon after the unit got orders for Iraq, Beste got orders to leave the troop.
“He fought those orders to stay with the unit because he could not fathom going to war with any other unit,” Wagner said.
Beste was assigned to Troop F right out of training in May 2003, and he deployed twice with the unit. His first hitch was a 15-month stint in Iraq, during which he earned his first Purple Heart.
Storey came to the unit in September 2005 after three years of recruiting duty. He was looking forward to becoming a section sergeant, but the command had other ideas, Wagner said. Storey, who Wagner said was the go-to guy, was made the headquarters platoon sergeant, a position of greater responsibility.
“His love for his job only paled in comparison to his love for his wife, Melissa, and daughter, Adela, better known to everyone as ‘Peanut,’” Wagner said.
The soldiers and families of Ray Barracks, who gathered to remember the lives of Beste and Storey, woke to news that another soldier stationed at Ray Barracks had died in Iraq on Wednesday. That soldier, the 13th Friedberg-based troop killed in seven months of fighting in Iraq, has not yet been identified pending notification of next of kin.