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Helmets, rifles, dog tags, photos and boots of Sgt. Robert E. Colvill, Spc. Collier E. Barcus, Spc. Joseph M. Garmback Jr., Spc. William R. Emanuel IV and Spc. Sonny G. Sampler stand in front of the Ledward Barracks chapel altar at a memorial service Wednesday for the soldiers in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Helmets, rifles, dog tags, photos and boots of Sgt. Robert E. Colvill, Spc. Collier E. Barcus, Spc. Joseph M. Garmback Jr., Spc. William R. Emanuel IV and Spc. Sonny G. Sampler stand in front of the Ledward Barracks chapel altar at a memorial service Wednesday for the soldiers in Schweinfurt, Germany. (Michael Abrams / S&S)

Helmets, rifles, dog tags, photos and boots of Sgt. Robert E. Colvill, Spc. Collier E. Barcus, Spc. Joseph M. Garmback Jr., Spc. William R. Emanuel IV and Spc. Sonny G. Sampler stand in front of the Ledward Barracks chapel altar at a memorial service Wednesday for the soldiers in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Helmets, rifles, dog tags, photos and boots of Sgt. Robert E. Colvill, Spc. Collier E. Barcus, Spc. Joseph M. Garmback Jr., Spc. William R. Emanuel IV and Spc. Sonny G. Sampler stand in front of the Ledward Barracks chapel altar at a memorial service Wednesday for the soldiers in Schweinfurt, Germany. (Michael Abrams / S&S)

Mourners wipe away tears as the song "I am an American Soldier" plays during the memorial service for Sgt. Robert E. Colvill, Spc. Collier E. Barcus, Spc. Joseph M. Garmback Jr., Spc. William R. Emanuel IV and Spc. Sonny G. Sampler in Schweinfurt, Germany, on Wednesday.

Mourners wipe away tears as the song "I am an American Soldier" plays during the memorial service for Sgt. Robert E. Colvill, Spc. Collier E. Barcus, Spc. Joseph M. Garmback Jr., Spc. William R. Emanuel IV and Spc. Sonny G. Sampler in Schweinfurt, Germany, on Wednesday. (Michael Abrams / S&S)

SCHWEINFURT, Germany — “The fight in Iraq has come to our doorstep yet again,” Lt. Col. Keith Wright, 280th Base Support Battalion chaplain, said at a memorial ceremony to honor five 1st Infantry Division soldiers killed last week.

Sgt. Robert E. Colvill, 31; Spc. Collier E. Barcus, 21; Spc. Joseph M. Garmback, Jr., 24; Spc. William “TJ” R. Emanuel IV, 19; and Spc. Sonny G. Sampler, 23, were killed July 8 in Samarra during a mortar attack on the Iraqi National Guard headquarters.

The names of the Task Force 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment soldiers were added to the roll of the 15 other Schweinfurt-based soldiers killed downrange since the community’s seven units deployed to Iraq in February.

Pvt. Bradley Sensibaugh attended the ceremony to honor Emanuel, his friend and cousin by marriage. Emanuel was a carrier driver within the 1-26 mortar platoon.

“I really met him when he was about 11 years old,” said the Darmstadt-based soldier, whose fondest memories were playing football with Emanuel at family gatherings on Easter. “He would get a smile out of absolutely anybody at any time.”

Each soldier was described as outgoing and never hesitating to make others’ lives better with laughter.

“He was always taking care of his troops; never failing them,” Staff Sgt. Eric Breeden said of Colvill, who served as squad leader in the mortar platoon. “I know wherever he is, he has that special smile and is making people laugh.”

Breeden later read a dedication sent by a buddy of Garmback’s downrange. Garmback served as a mortar carrier driver within the platoon.

“‘When he was in my squad, he set the example,’” Breeden read. “‘Even more than was necessary, because that’s how he was.’”

Barcus, a sniper assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1-26, was described as a true warrior and friend. Due to be promoted shortly before he died, Barcus was posthumously promoted to specialist.

Pfc. Lawrence Person described Sampler, assistant gunner in the mortar platoon, as a happy-go-lucky joker whose smile he would never forget.

Christine Colvill, the spouse of the only married soldier in the group, selected the song “American Soldier,” which played before the meditation period of the ceremony. The song portrays a soldier who is working to preserve the American way of life for his wife, son and daughter.

The words rang true — Colvill also leaves behind a son, Zachary, and daughter, Savannah.

Capt. Alex Ruschell, Task Force 1-26 rear detachment commander, perhaps best expressed the thoughts of those who attended the ceremony: “Remember the men they were and the soldiers they strived to be.”


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