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    100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment Soldier Honored in Memorial Ceremony at Camp Virginia

    100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment Soldier Honored in Memorial Ceremony at Camp Virginia

    Photo By Crystal Farris | 442nd Infantry Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Michael Peeters, and Command Sgt. Maj....... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait — Soldiers from throughout the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team mourned the loss of one of their own, Spc. Casey L. Hills, in a crowded memorial ceremony at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, June 28.

    Hills, 23, a mobilized Individual Ready Reserve Soldier from Salem, Illinois and former Illinois National Guard Soldier who deployed to Kuwait in November 2008, died as a result of injuries sustained in a multiple vehicle accident while conducting security for a combat logistics patrol in southern Iraq on June 24.

    There was standing room only in the camp chapel as over 650 Soldiers, Sailors and civilians lined the walls to pay their final respects to their fellow Soldier.

    Hills' company and battalion commanders and the battalion chaplain all spoke of how Hills became part of the C Company "ohana" or family. The American Samoans of C Company opened their arms to the quiet kid from the mid-west. Hills' battalion commander spoke of Hills' surprise at being assigned to a unit from American Samoa.

    "But Casey is the one who surprised his fellow Soldiers," said Lt. Col. Michael Peeters, commander 100-442nd Infantry. "With a quiet demeanor, a hard work ethic, and a commitment to the platoon that made him a platoon favorite."

    Peeters continued talking about Hills' dedication to the mission, his commitment to serve, and his willingness to always go the extra mile when needed when he added a comment from Hills' platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Seui, "If there were ten Hills available, I would take them all."

    Spc. Hills was always available and ready to do a mission if needed, and this mission was no different. Hills had just completed a mission into Iraq when he volunteered to take on what would be his last mission. Over 70 Soldiers from the 29th IBCT were completing their final preparations to become U.S. citizens. Hills volunteered to provide security for another combat logistics patrol re-supplying fellow Soldiers in Iraq.

    Hills' company commander, Maj. Ralph Robinson explained it this way. "He was the king of turn and burns [he was always willing to go back out]. With all the overwhelming tasks, he never once complained and continued mission."

    Robinson spoke for many of the Soldiers of C Company when he said, "The news worldwide this weekend is filled with coverage of the death of entertainment superstars. I respect the impact of their talents. But unlike them, as an American Soldier, Hills joined a team in which we are all just a small part of something much larger, and in which we receive no celebrity adulation."

    "We will always remember you," said Capt. Kevin Gilbert, the battalion chaplain, "and we will live our lives better because of you."

    At the end of the ceremony, First Sgt. Uluao Letuli, the C Company, 100-442nd Infantry first sergeant, stood and called out the ceremonial final roll call. Three Soldiers answered; the final one did not.



    Date Taken: 06.29.2009
    Date Posted: 06.29.2009 14:18
    Story ID: 35755
    Location: CAMP VIRGINIA, KW 

    Web Views: 1,191
    Downloads: 565