News: 'Long Knife' soldiers bid farewell to fallen brother
Story by Spc. Angel Turner
FORT HOOD, Texas — Family, friends and fellow soldiers gathered at 73rd Street Chapel to remember a fallen comrade during a memorial service, Feb. 6, here.
Sgt. 1st Class James Kurth, an electronic warfare specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, passed away Jan. 16, following a motorcycle accident.
Attendees sat silently, many wiping away tears, as soldiers recalled how special of a person and how valuable of a soldier Kurth was.
“Sgt. 1st Class Kurth’s intelligence, articulate manor and friendship portrayed a character that exuded and infected confidence in all those that worked with him,” said Capt. Raymond Kangas, rear detachment commander, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
“His leadership and expertise as the brigade’s electronic warfare specialist were unparalleled and the brigade will be hard pressed to fill and find a more qualified and dedicated noncommissioned officer,” Kangas added.
Spc. Andrew Cain, a fire support specialist who worked with Kurth, gave the soldier tribute.
“Sgt. 1st Class Kurth was not only a good soldier and good NCO, but he was also a great friend,” Cain stated, who is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th BCT, 1st Cav., Div. “He was someone who no matter what your problems were, he would stop what he was doing and listen to you and give you advice on the situation.”
Prior to the final roll call, the chaplain gave a few final words.
“There is a sense of an aching void as we reflect on the life that was lived by the one that we loved who is now gone,” said Capt. Vince Hardy, the “Long Knife” brigade’s rear detachment acting chaplain. “We miss the companionship of our loved one in the person of Sergeant [1st Class] Kurth, and our grief may run deep.”
As the firing of the volleys sounded off, and the taps played, the chapel echoed with crying from loved ones, fellow soldiers and friends.
Kurth’s awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbons, and the Combat Action Badge. Kurth was also inducted into the coveted Sergeant Audi Murphy Club.