Fallen trio honored at Hohenfels
January 25, 2009
HOHENFELS, Germany — Hundreds gathered Friday to honor three proud fathers and brave soldiers killed in the line of duty.
It was standing room only at the Joint Multinational Training Command community activities center as Maj. Brian Michael Mescall, Sgt. Jason Ray Parsons and Cpl. Joseph Michael Hernandez were remembered.
The men, members of 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, were killed Jan. 9 when a roadside bomb struck their Humvee while on a mission in Zabul province, Afghanistan.
At the time of their deaths, the three were attached to a unit of the Romanian Land Forces. When not deployed, the battalion serves as the JMTC’s opposing forces, providing training for U.S. and allied soldiers preparing for deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Mescall, 33, was serving as Task Force Zabul’s chief of staff. A native of Teaneck, N.J., the cavalry officer was a 1997 graduate of The Citadel.
“He loved what he did,” 1st Lt. Philip Swintek said of Mescall during the memorial. “He was passionate and opinionated … always up for a good time and a good laugh.”
Others remembered Mescall for his sharp sense of humor, good attitude and large dose of common sense.
Though he was proud of his work as an officer, with multiple overseas tours and deployments to his credit, he was happiest as the father of his young son, Nathan.
In addition to his son, Mescall is survived by his parents, John and Margaret Mescall; his brother, John; and sisters Jamie and Stacey.
“Whether you were laughing with him or at him, somehow he always put a smile on your face,” Spc. Austin Swanda said of Parsons, who, along with Hernandez, had recently volunteered to join Team Cherokee in Afghanistan mid-deployment.
A 24-year-old native of Lenoir, N.C., Parsons had hoped to retire from the military.
He leaves behind his “first and only love,” wife Elvira, and his stepchildren Manuel, Daniel and Jasmin.
When Hernandez’s wife, Alison Yvonne, was asked if there was anything she wanted said about her husband, she said she wanted him remembered “as a good father and husband,” Staff Sgt. Swindell White said to those gathered.
“Corporal Hernandez’s favorite thing to do was to be at home with his sons,” White said.
Hernandez, 24, of Hammond, Ind., sacrificed his recent Christmas leave to deploy, taking him far away from young Jacob and Noah.