News: In Remembrance of Two 562nd Engineers
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Steve Petibone
138th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
MOSUL, Iraq (Feb. 11, 2006) - The First Sergeant for the 562nd Engineer Company makes the roll call, two of his Soldiers are missing from the formation. Comrades and commanders honored two U.S. Army Engineer Soldiers from the 562nd Engineer Company, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team on their second tours of duty in Iraq, during a memorial ceremony in the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Theater at Forward Operating Base-Marez.
Sgt. Christopher Morningstar, team leader and Sgt. Jeremiah Boehmer, also a team leader, died when an improvised explosive device exploded near their Stryker, in Al Husayniyah, Iraq.
Sgt. Morningstar was born 19 May 1978. He graduated from MacArthur High School, San Antonio, Texas in 1996 and joined the Army in 1997. His first tour of duty to Iraq was with the Company C, 5th Engineer Battalion. He returned to Iraq in August, 2005 with the 562nd Engineer Company, first being stationed in Mosul and later, being moved to Rawah near the Syrian border with his unit.
Sgt. Boehmer was born 10 April 1983. He graduated from Parkston High School, Parkston, South Dakota in 2002 and joined the Army that same year. His first tour of duty was with the 501st Engineer Detachment to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom.
The ceremony was adorned with various speakers. Each speaker came to the podium with a heartfelt eulogy of battle-inspired memories.
"Chris and Jeremiah were members of the only Stryker combat engineer company in Iraq that in the past six months has never rested, it has never had a down day and it has never stopped searching. They belong to a group of warriors that are dedicated to the safety of their fellow Soldiers and the safety of our partner Iraqi units." said Lt. Col. Charles R. Webster, Jr., commander, Task Force 2-1, 172nd SBCT.
"It's hard to think how kids can grow up to be men, and men can grow up to be Soldiers and Soldiers can become heroes, and heroes can become angels. The angels I refer to are Staff Sergeant Morningstar and Sgt. Boehmer. Sgt. Boehmer would not consider himself a leader, but I did. The Soldiers looked up to him and followed him no matter were he would go." said Staff Sgt. James Siebert, 562nd Engineer Company.
Sgt. Morningstar will be laid to rest with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston Memorial Cemetery, Texas. He is survived by his mother Holly and three children. Clayton, Wyatt and Victoria.
Sgt. Jeremiah Boehmer will be buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in his hometown of Parkston, South Dakota. He is survived by his mother and father Jo and James Boehmer of Parkston, South Dakota and two brothers and two sisters.