Report of 4 KIA Soldiers

It is my sad duty to once again inform you of a loss to the DEMON family. On 23 June 2007, one of our HMMWVs was struck by an IED outside our new patrol base at Hor Al Bosh. Inside were 1LT Dan Riordan, SGT Jimy Malone, SPC Joel House, and SPC Derek Calhoun. The blast was devastating and they were all taken instantly.

LT Riordan was an infantry officer who, upon his arrival to Fort Hood, was thrust into the world of Armor. He was given a tank platoon and told to learn about the M1 tank and get the platoon ready to deploy. Within a few weeks he was leading his platoon down the Armor Corps most important qualification range, Tank Table VIII. With no formal Fort Knox Armor School training, he qualified his tank crew the first time down. He was a selfless, enthusiastic leader who took pride in his soldiers and in the job they did. I know his loss is felt deeply by Blue platoon. He is survived by his mother Jeannine, his father Rick, and his fiancée Tiffany.

SGT Malone was the epitome of an NCO. I can’t think of anyone I have ever met that loved being a soldier more than he did. He was driven to better himself both technically and tactically. He had just become a Truck Commander, a position he’d wanted desperately for a long time. He had worked hard to earn it and was more than qualified for the job. I personally will miss the trash talking and cocky confidence that made up his personality. He was one of the guys who gave DEMON the swagger that made the other companies envious. He was the kind of soldier a company could be built around. He is survived by his wife Leslie and his six month old daughter Reagan.

SPC House was a young soldier who, though “Stop-Lossed”, worked hard every day. He was a very reserved man who demonstrated a quiet confidence in everything he did. Younger soldiers looked to him for guidance and they followed his lead. His Platoon Sergeant had singled him out as someone who should advance to the NCO level. There is no doubt in my mind he would have made a good Sergeant. He is survived by his mother Deanna, and his father Paul.

SPC Calhoun was one of the soldiers evacuated for wounds during the battle in Tarmiyah. His wounds were serious and he could probably have gone home. However, he chose to return to his platoon. He was the last to be medically cleared for duty. And although he was shaken by his experience, he found the courage inside himself to soldier on. He rejoined his platoon and was once again a valuable asset to the unit. I know when I think of him, that’s what I will be most proud of. He is survived by his mother Ada, and his father Alan.

Its men like these who make up the soldiers of DEMON Company. Each one is a treasure that we will never replace. But because of them, the rest of us are able to carry on. We can remember the time we shared with them and honor their memory the best way we know how. And though it has become harder and harder to find the words necessary to express the depth of our losses, I can tell you that I have never been more proud to be associated with any group of men anywhere. Please remember these fallen warriors and their families in your prayers. And as always thank you for your continued support of DEMON Company.

Very Respectfully,

1SG William Tramel
Camp Taji, Iraq

Dco 2-8 CAV, 1BCT, 1CD
Unit 5910
APO, AE 09378