NCO remembered at Würzburg service
WüRZBURG, Germany — As they wept over his death, few mourners at his memorial service could remember when Staff Sgt. Mike Dennie wasn’t smiling.
“Staff Sgt. Dennie lived deeply,” recalled his friend Staff Sgt. Tanya Harris in her eulogy. “Not a day went by where he was sad or upset for more than five minutes. Even if he was, he’d soon be flashing those pearly whites again.”
Dennie, 31, of the Würzburg-based 106th Finance Battalion died Sept. 29 in Balad, Iraq, of injuries he suffered a week earlier when the military vehicle in which he was riding rolled over.
Dennie was born in Surrey, Jamaica. He joined the U.S. Army in 1996 and served until 2001, then rejoined in March 2002 after a short break in service.
Since joining the 106th Finance, he served as noncommissioned officer-in-charge of in- and out-processing, customer service, communications, forward support team, as well as being a squad leader.
He had been his unit’s NCO of the month and quarter and had been NCO of the year for its parent command, the Heidelberg-based 266th Finance Command.
“He was the PT stud, the tactical guru, the NCO who pushed his soldiers beyond their capabilities,” said Capt. Felicia Floyd, his company commander.
Dennie deployed with the 106th Finance to Iraq in February in support of the 1st Infantry Division. He helped get pay and petty cash to 13,000 troops at eight forward operating bases — a dangerous assignment, given the nature of the Iraq war, said Lt. Col. Thomas “Pat” Riley, the battalion commander.
“The mission involved traveling through IED-infested roads,” Riley said.
Dennie’s fatal accident took place as he returned to headquarters from a pay mission.
Friends remembered him smiling, laughing, joking all the time.
A Christian, he used to memorize lengthy passages from the Bible.
Until recently, he had formed an inseparable trio with two other soldiers, Sgt. Stephanie Bass and Crystal Bruno, who left the Army in August. Jointly they wrote a tribute that Harris read at the service.
“We’ll always remember your sayings and funny comments — especially the ones that made no sense at all,” they wrote. “It’s hard to believe that our trio is now down to two.”
Dennie, of Fayetteville, N.C., is survived by his wife, Beverly; his daughter, Imani; and his mother, Abigail.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.