News: Fallen Spartan Soldier remembered for courage
Story by Sgt. Javier Amador
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- A memorial service honoring U.S. Army Sgt. Shawn Farrell was held by Spartan Soldiers of the 1st Battallion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and the Special Operations Task Force Northeast on May 5, 2014, at Camp Montrond, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
Farrell, of Kingston, N.Y., was killed in action April 28, 2014, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire while on a mission in the Nerjab district of Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.
His fellow Soldiers said Farrell had an intimate understanding of the risks associated with his profession through previous combat deployments with the Spartan Brigade to Afghanistan from March 2011 to March 2012. He approached his job with more than just pure bravery.
“If you talk to any of the Soldiers who knew Sergeant Farrell, they will tell you he was no stranger to the risks. He knew that danger was a reality, having faced combat before with Combat Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment. He also loved his job as a Soldier and as a team leader,” said U.S. Army Capt. Travis Boudreau, the commanding officer of Combat Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment.
A consummate mentor as well as Soldier, Farrell spent every spare moment he had when not on a mission using his tremendous work ethic and professional knowledge to share his combat tested skills with his Soldiers, always striving to make them better.
“At Camp Banner, he was the hardest working and most dependable Soldier,” said Boudreau. “Whenever he had any free time, he used it planning and executing training for his Soldiers to make them a stronger team.”
During the ceremony, members of Operational Detachment Alpha, the unit Farrell’s unit was supporting rendered the honors accorded to this fallen hero and commemorated an extraordinary life given in selfless service so others may know freedom.
“He sacrificed his life not only so that other Americans could live in freedom and pursue happiness, but so that people on the other side of the world could have a chance at a better life for their future generations,” said U.S. Army Capt. William Wright, the team leader of Operational Detachment Alpha.
For many of the Soldiers beginning their assignments with Combat Company, Farrell was usually the first the first to greet them. The Soldiers assigned to be on his team quickly found him to be a leader who looked out for them and would continue looking out for them no matter where they went afterward.
“When I first came to the1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, then Specialist Farrell was the first person to greet me into Combat Company. After I had come over to Attack Company from the Scout platoon, once again, Sergeant Farrell was the first to greet me to my new platoon. Just about anytime anyone new came to the platoon, he was always the first to greet them, and if he knew they were going to be his Soldier he never missed the chance to pick them up from Battalion,” said his friend and fellow team leader, U.S. Army Sgt. Ryan Darlage.
Farrell possessed many remarkable traits which made him the Soldier and leader that he was and it is for those traits and more for which he will be remembered.
“If a friend was in need, he always offered to help, if a Soldier didn't understand something, he sat down and taught them what they needed to know,” said Darlage. “If given a task, he would always get the job done without hesitation or procrastination. Sergeant Farrell was a fiercely loyal, hard-working Soldier and friend. Anyone who was lucky enough to call him either has truly lost someone great.”