17 December 2010

DJ Wheeler: A brother's honour

US Soldier honors fallen brother in Iraq
Written by Spc. Roland Hale, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division Monday, December 13, 2010 08:50

U.S. Army Pfc. DJ Wheeler, 22, of Concord, Mich., was killed in Iraq Oct. 13, 2003, when a group of insurgents attacked the infantryman’s convoy with rocket propelled grenades. One of Wheeler’s brothers, Spc. Dominic Wheeler, now serving in Iraq, recently honored his memory by flying a U.S. flag from an Army Black Hawk helicopter over the spot where DJ was killed. (U.S. Army photo)

CAMP TAJI — When 11-year-old Dominic Wheeler watched his brother DJ leave for Iraq in 2003, his mother asked how he felt about his brother going to war. “Just as long as he comes home,” Dominic responded.

Seven months into his deployment DJ was killed on patrol when a group of insurgents fired several rocket propelled grenades into his Bradley fighting vehicle. He came home to be buried in Concord, Mich.

But the story did not end there for Dominic. On the seventh anniversary of DJ’s death he had a unique opportunity to pay tribute to his brother.

Dominic, now 19, is serving with the Army in Iraq as an aviation operations specialist. His unit, the 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, a helicopter unit from Fort Riley, Kan., regularly flies missions in the area where DJ was killed.

Soldiers occasionally bring flags on missions to take home as combat keepsakes, and the unit gave Dominic the chance to fly a flag for his brother....

Read the rest here. (A must read.)

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