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Grey Wolf says Goodbye to Fallen Heroes

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Pictures and boots of the fallen Soldiers, Sgt. Carl Seigart, Sgt. John Rode, and Cpl. Ronnie Madore Jr., who were a part of Company E, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division; and Pfc. Brandon Cummings, Co. C, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd BCT, are covered with coins showing appreciation of their service to their units and their country.  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3BCT, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

 

By Spc. Ryan Stroud

3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

 

BAQUBAH, Iraq (Feb. 19, 2007) -- “This loss is devastating to both the ‘Charger’ and ‘Blacksmith’ Battalions.  We are all deeply saddened.  These great Soldiers were mission focused and had no problem excepting responsibility,” said Lt. Col. Ronald Kirklin, commander of the 215th Blacksmith Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, about the deaths of Sgt. Carl Seigart, Sgt. John Rode, Cpl. Ronnie Madore Jr. and Pfc. Brandon Cummings.

 

“Cummings, Madore, Rode, Seigart -- those men were among the best,” said Lt. Col. Morris Goins, commander of the 1-12 Charger Combined Arms Battalion.  “They are what is great about our country.”

“Cummings, Madore, Rode, Seigart -- those men were among the best,” said Lt. Col. Morris Goins, commander of the 1-12 Charger Combined Arms Battalion.  “They are what is great about our country.”

 

Seigart, Rode, Madore and Cummings died from wounds received in combat, Feb. 14.  “Grey Wolf” Soldiers gathered at Salie Gym on Forward Operating Base, Warhorse, in Baqubah Iraq, Feb. 19, to honor their lives and sacrifices.

 

“Having a family member [from your battalion] taken from you in an instant shakes an organization,” said Capt. Clayton Cobs, commander of Company C, 1-12 CAB.

 

Seigart was born on Sept. 10, 1974.  After graduating high school in 1993, he enlisted into the Army.  Seigart would eventually be assigned to Co. E, 215th BSB, were he served as the recovery team chief.  Seigart is survived by his wife, Mary.

 

“When I remember Sgt. Seigart, I remember selfless service and integrity,” said, Capt. Alexander Babington, commander of Co. E, 215th BSB.  “Sgt. Seigart always put the mission first.”

 

“I never heard Sgt. Seigart say anything except ‘Roger, Sir,’” he continued.  “His dedication to the mission and selfless service was inspiring to me.”

 

“Sgt. Seigart was a superb NCO; he gave the Army so much on a day-to-day basis,” said Staff Sgt. James Baxter, Co. E, 215th BSB.  “He was always doing the right thing.  He didn’t know the meaning of cutting corners.”

 

“Not once did Sgt. Seigart ever let me down,” he continued.  “He was, by far, one of the most loyal NCOs I have ever worked with.”

 

“He was a very diverse NCO,” Baxter said.  “He always had vast knowledge, not in just one piece of equipment he was assigned to, but all the pieces of equipment he was around.  He was constantly striving to learn.”

 

“The thing that was most important to him was his wife,” he added.  “I knew for a fact that he was truly in love with his wife, as she is with him.  He had an undying loyalty and love towards her that cannot be found easily in a relationship.”

 

“Sgt. Seigart, you served your country and fellow Soldiers well,” Baxter concluded.  “Thank you for all you’ve done.  You will be missed.”

 

Rode was born June 4, 1982.  After graduating high school in 2001, he enlisted into the Army.  Rode would eventually be assigned to Co. E, 215th BSB, were he served as a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic and recovery non-commissioned officer.  He is survived by his parents.

 

“When I remember Sgt. Rode, every single Army Value comes to mind,” said Babington.  “Sgt. Rode was always the first Soldier to volunteer for a mission.”

 

“Sgt. Rode had been engaged seven times by [improvised explosive devices] since we have been in country,” he added.  “However, due to his personal courage, he never hesitated to go into harms way to recover his brothers.  He told me it was his job, his duty, to help recover his fellow comrades from the battle field.”

 

“He was a man that showed no fear but still showed compassion for his Soldiers,” said Sgt. Gabriel Pena, Co. E, 215th BSB.  “He was never afraid to step up to the plate and accept a challenge.”

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Soldiers bow their heads in reflection for their fallen comrades, Sgt. Carl Seigart, Sgt. John Rode, and Cpl. Ronnie Madore Jr., who were a part of Company E, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division; and Pfc. Brandon Cummings, Co. C, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd BCT.  All four Soldiers died from wounds received in combat, Feb. 14.  Soldiers gathered at Salie Gym on Forward Operating Base Warhorse, Feb. 19, to render honors to their fallen comrades.   (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3BCT, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

 

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Soldiers take a moment to reflect after the memorial service for Sgt. Carl Seigart, Sgt. John Rode, and Cpl. Ronnie Madore Jr., who were a part of Company E, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division; and Pfc. Brandon Cummings, Co. C, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd BCT.  The four Soldiers died from wounds received in combat, Feb. 14.  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3BCT, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

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A Soldier reflects during the memorial ceremony for his fallen comrades, Sgt. Carl Seigart, Sgt. John Rode, and Cpl. Ronnie Madore Jr., who were a part of Company E, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division; and Pfc. Brandon Cummings, Co. C, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd BCT, Feb. 19.  The four Soldiers died from wounds received in combat, Feb. 14. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3BCT, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

 “To those of you who knew Sgt. Rode, knew how great a guy he was and how he touched our lives,” he continued.  “He loved teaching Soldiers and loved going out on recovery missions.”
 

“I’m [going to] miss the time I spent with Sgt. Rode, inside and outside of work,” Pena concluded.  “I will always have fond memories of him.  He was a great NCO and a great friend.  I know he died doing what he loved.

 

“He will always be in my memory,” he said.

 

Madore was born in San Diego, Dec. 29, 1972, and graduated high school in 1990.  On March 23, 2000, Madore entered the Army.  He would eventually be assigned to Co. E, 215th BSB, as a recovery vehicle operator.  He is survived by his wife and four children.

 

“When I think of Cpl. Madore, I think of loyalty and respect,” said Babington.

 

Babington spoke of a time before deploying to Iraq when Madore was not eligible for deployment.  He received a new profile stating he was deployable and presented it to his chain of command.

 

“When I asked him how he got the new deployable profile, he said there was no way he was going to sit here and watch his crew go to Iraq without him,” Babington said.  “That day I gained tremendous respect for Cpl. Madore and witnessed one of the most loyal acts I have ever experienced by a Soldier.”

 

“This man had a huge heart, just hidden under a lot of sarcasm,” said Spc. Brandy Humpleby, Co. E, 215th BSB.

 

“He was an excellent teacher, making sure you understood everything as he explained it to you; and also making sure you got the hands-on experience that he had gotten and that we all needed,” she added.

 

“It was when I met his family that I really saw him shine,” Humpleby said.  “There was none of that gruff exterior that he always showed at work.  He was a big softy, though I don’t know anyone who would ever say that to his face.  Anyone who loved his family as much as he did must be a great man.”

 

“Cpl. Madore, you have left a space that can never be filled quite the same way again,” she concluded.  “We have not only lost a great Soldier, but a great man as well.  I wouldn’t have traded knowing you for the world.”

 

“I’ve talked in the past about Easy [Company] being a big family,” said Babington.  “These three Soldiers were the three closest brothers in our family.

 

“These Soldiers lived the Army Values,” he said.

 

Cummings was born Jan. 26, 1987.  After graduating high school in 2005, he enlisted into the Army and was assigned to Co. A, 1-12 CAB, as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle driver.  Cummings is survived by his parents, brother and fiancée.

 

“At times like these, it’s important to remember what Pfc. Cummings lived for and what he stood for,” Combs said.  “He loved his job.  Driving his Bradley Fighting Vehicle was something he always wanted to do.  He wanted to be a part of a team and always shouldered a share of the weight, no matter how tough.”

 

“He will be remembered as an example of the warrior spirit and testament of personal courage,” he said.

 

“Pfc. Brandon Cummings will forever be known as a brother and friend to everyone he knew and fought alongside,” said Pfc. Jeffrey Marder, Co. C, 1-12 CAB.

 

“Pfc. Cummings was known for his intelligence, love for cars, stubbornness and always wanting to be the best at everything he did, whether it was playing cards or driving his Bradley,” he continued.

 

“Cumming and I were very close…close enough that before every mission, we would take a minute to pray for our safety, the safety of our crews and the safety of our friends, families and loved ones back in the states,” Marder added.

 

“We are truly going to miss him,” he concluded.

 

As the ceremony drew to a close, Soldiers lined up to render one last salute to their fallen comrades.  Combs spoke of moving on together, as a family.

 

“It’s easy to sit and think about the family members that we have lost,” said Combs.  “The names of Cummings, Rode, Seigart, Madore, and other fine men quickly come to mind as an example of tremendous sacrifice paid, not only by this battalion, but also by this Nation.”

 

“These names and a thousand others are the reason we must move past this terrible loss together,” he said.

This article was taken from the 1st Cavalry Website.

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