|From Arizona Central azcentral.com
Decorated soldier from Avondale killed in Afghanistan
by Jackee Coe - Jun. 29, 2011 01:35 PM
The Arizona Republic
A decorated paratrooper from Avondale who was serving in Afghanistan was killed after his unit was attacked by a roadside bomb, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Wednesday.
Staff Sgt. Donald V. Stacy, 23, died in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday of wounds suffered during the insurgent attack while supporting Operating Enduring Freedom, officials said.
Stacy, who joined the army in 2005, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., said Sgt. 1st Class Alan G. Davis. He was a squad leader with Company B.
Stacy is survived by his mother, also of Avondale. She could not be reached for comment.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to her and the rest of their family because he's not only a great paratrooper and teammate... but he was also a son and a family member," Davis said.
Stacy deployed to Afghanistan about a month ago, Davis said. He previously had been deployed twice to Iraq with Company A from 2006-2007 and 2008-2009.
Troopers who worked with Stacy spoke of his character and leadership skills in a statement released Wednesday by the 82nd Airborne Division.
"SSG Stacy's devotion to his fellow paratroopers and his dedication to mission accomplishment set him apart from his peers," said Capt. Jeff Wismann, commander, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment Rear Detachment.
"He was both a phenomenal leader and genuine friend and he will truly be missed," Capt. Wismann said.
"I chose Staff Sgt. Donald Vincent and his squad to deploy to Afghanistan because he was a strong and confident leader who was loved and respected by those he led," said Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Lopez, Command Sergeant Major, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
"His final actions saved the lives of many," Command Sgt. Maj Lopez said.
Davis said Stacy is irreplaceable and his death for his company is "very tough."
"The soldiers, they work, live, eat, sleep all together all the time, so they become your family, especially when you're deployed," Davis said.
Stacy had been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Medal, two Overseas Service Ribbons, Ranger tab, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Parachutist Badge.