Memorial held for Germany-based soldier killed in Afghanistan
VILSECK, Germany — A soldier who others called “Giggles” because he was always smiling and laughing was bid a final farewell at Rose Barracks Cavalry Chapel on Tuesday.
Spc. Steven L. Dupont, 20, of Lafayette, La., died Oct. 24 at Rangrizan, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
Dupont, a forward observer who served with Company G, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, was known for his “happy go-lucky” attitude, according to Staff Sgt. Jonathan Criss, who read Dupont’s service record at the ceremony.
He graduated from Comeaux High School in Lafayette, La., and was a member of the school’s JROTC program, Criss said.
Third Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Bryan Denny remembered Dupont, in remarks read at the ceremony, as, “…maybe a bit mischievous (but) extremely capable and a real asset to our team.”
He was part of a fire support team selected as the best in the regiment just before they deployed to Afghanistan in spring, Denny said. Those who knew Dupont and those who will follow in his footsteps in the 2nd SCR have an obligation to remember what he has given for them, he said.
“We will remember Steven and remember why we are here – to make things right in Afghanistan, grow governance, develop the Afghan Army and destroy the insurgency,” Denny said.
Company commander Capt. Mark Ross, whose remarks were also read at the ceremony, recalled seeing Dupont struggle though a training exercise in Germany, weighed down by cold-weather gear and other equipment.
“I was curious if he was going to make it carrying all that weight,” he said, but added that Dupont got through the training despite his heavy load.
“I saw him go from a quiet, timorous boy to a professional and confident young man,” Ross said.
He told the Dupont’s parents: “We can only pray that your bereavement is temporary. Your family has forever grown exponentially. Thank you for raising such a quality human being.”
According to the Jennings (La.) Daily News, Dupont is survived by his parents, Brenda and Charlie.