Stuttgart community gathers to remember an embodiment of the Berets
Stars and Stripes August 5, 2009
STUTTGART, Germany — Chief Warrant Officer 2 Douglas M. Vose was a Green Beret known for what Green Berets are known for: courage in a fight and an ability to keep his head while pushing his body to the limit.
But he also was a man who embraced the western European lifestyle, speaking fluent German with the locals in the regional dialect. He sported fancy European-style jeans and appreciated a fine glass of red wine. He was at ease with the uber-civilized, at home on the most dangerous of battlefields.
"That’s what made Doug so unique," said Dave Takaki, a retired master sergeant who served with Vose.
Vose, who served with the Stuttgart-based 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, was killed July 29 in Afghanistan’s Kabul province while leading troops on a foot patrol. He was killed in Uzbin Valley by small-arms fire during intense fighting.
The battle occurred when troops encountered enemy resistance while scouting out secure polling areas for the upcoming elections.
During the fight, several high-value Taliban targets were taken down, according to Maj. John Holevas, commander of 1-10’s Company A.
"He took the fight to the enemy," Holevas said during a memorial service Tuesday at the Panzer Kaserne chapel.
The Stuttgart Special Forces community spilled out of the pews to mourn Vose, who embodied many of the characteristics associated with the military’s elite fighting group.
Holevas recalled when he and Vose would grapple with each other in a challenge of technique that also tested thresholds for pain. Even when Holevas managed to put Vose into a submissive position, the chief warrant officer would hold out, unwilling to cave and tap out of the fight.
"I tapped because he wouldn’t," Holevas said.
Just days before the 38-year-old native of Roseburg, Ore., was killed, Vose was serving as a Special Forces liaison in Afghanistan, removed from the day-to-day fight. But he was eager for a position back on the front lines, and pressed hard for a post with his detachment in the field, which he received. He was killed four days later.
Takaki ventured that the Taliban would not likely forget its encounter with Vose, calling him "a true assaulter to be reckoned with."
Vose is survived by his wife, Nicole, two sons and two daughters and his mother.