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
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
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.
1SG William Tramel
Camp Taji, Iraq
Dco 2-8 CAV, 1BCT, 1CD
APO, AE 09378