News: Soldier pursued excellence, led by example
Story by Spc. Reese Von Rogatsz
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Soldiers, family, and friends gathered to celebrate the life and legacy of Sgt. David J. Chambers, an infantryman in 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, during a memorial ceremony at Evergreen Chapel, Feb. 6.
Chambers, 25, of Hampton, Va., died Jan. 16, during combat operations in Panjwa’i district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds received from an enemy improvised explosive device while on dismounted patrol. He was assigned to Company B, the ‘Bayonet Company’ of 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment.
“Sergeant Chambers did not know how to be substandard at anything in his life,” read Capt. Dallas Henry, 1-38 Inf. rear detachment commander, on behalf of Lt. Col. Chad Sundem, commander of 1-38 Inf., currently serving in Afghanistan.
According to Sundem, Chambers was the best team leader in the company. The ‘Hell Raiser’ platoon’s expert in many areas, his men were trained, disciplined and informed. Ever the consummate professional, he consistently set a sterling example, Sundem wrote.
“His subordinates trusted him, his peers learned from the example he set, and his superiors counted on him to get the job done,” Henry read, on behalf of Capt. Matthew Boise, commander of Company B, 1-38 Inf.
“He left an indelible impression on us all,” read Henry.
Chambers’ squad leader, Staff Sgt. Alejandro Cisneros, first met him in November 2011, when Cisneros was assigned to Company B. The two shared a common past, having recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan with the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment based in Germany.
“I liked ‘Chambs’ right off the bat because he was a level-headed guy with nothing to prove,” read Sgt. Timothy Brown, a squad leader with 1-38 Inf. rear detachment, on behalf of Cisneros.
According to Cisneros, Chambers was a great Soldier, a great American, and an inspiration to others. He loved what he did and also loved those around him.
“In turn, everyone loved him,” wrote Cisneros. “He was a great human being with a great soul.”
Staff Sgt. Anthony Potter, a platoon sergeant with 1-38 Inf. rear detachment, read the words spoken by Sgt. Kyle Chattin to his friend and fallen comrade at a memorial held at Combat Outpost Sperwan Ghar, Afghanistan, Jan. 20.
“I am comforted now only by the thought of your disposition toward our chosen profession,” read Potter. “You knew the score, you knew what may come and you never wavered. You lived and worked with a dedication to excellence. You pursued it relentlessly and that was obvious to all lucky enough to know you. The men in this company were made better each and every day by the work you did.”
Potter recited the third and fourth stanzas of Laurence Binyon’s poem, “For the Fallen”, first published in 1914. Over time, these lines were claimed as tribute to casualties of war.
“They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”
“For us, you will never grow old,” read Potter. “You will always be the finest friend, brother and infantryman I have ever known.”
Sgt. David J. Chambers, of Hampton, Va., was born March 21, 1987, and graduated from Kecoughtan High School in 2005. Chambers entered the Army in 2009 and attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Ga., in the Military Occupational Specialty 11B, Infantryman.
Upon graduation from AIT, he was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment (SCR), Vilseck, Germany, and deployed to Afghanistan from June 2010 to May 2011.
In October 2011, Chambers arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and was assigned to Company B, 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Regt, 4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div. He deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in November 2012.
According to WTKR in Norfolk, Va., Chambers had a brush with death in 2011 during his first tour in Afghanistan when an IED hit his vehicle, earning him his first Purple Heart. This did not stop Chambers from re-enlisting for four more years.
“Seeing him re-enlist like that means that he thought he had a bright future in the military and I believe he would have made it a long way,” said his father, Michael Chambers.
“He’s a hero,” the elder Chambers said.
Chambers’ civilian and military education includes completion of two years of college credit (2008), Military Occupational Specialty: 11B – Infantryman (2009), and the Warrior Leader Course (2012).
His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart (2nd Award), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3rd Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Mechanic’s and Driver’s Badge.
Chambers is survived by his parents, Julie and Michael, and brother, Steven.