Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Jimmy D Buie

Floral, Arkansas

January 4, 2005

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
44 Army Cpl

3rd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

Fordyce, Arkansas

Died in Taji, Iraq, when an improvised explosive devise detonated near their military vehicle.

Arkansas National Guardsman killed in Iraq bombing

By Angelia Roberts

Batesville Daily Guard / Associated Press

FLORAL, Ark. — Lisa Buie knew when she arrived home Tuesday night that the news was not good. Two military men, one of them a chaplain, were there to tell her that her husband had been killed in Iraq.

“I’ve been in the military before ... seen enough movies,” she said.

Jimmy Buie, 43, was a member of the Arkansas National Guard and was one of three Arkansas soldiers killed when an improvised bomb exploded along a roadside.

“He had went into the military after high school and gotten out. He thought about it for a while and then rejoined in August,” Buie said. In September, he spent a month training at Fort Hood, Texas, and the couple spent 3" days together in October.

“He was very good at calling. I talked with him Sunday evening. Every time I talked with him he was so upbeat,” she said.

In his civilian life, Buie worked in Batesville as a mechanic at Mark Martin Ford Mercury.

“His wife was just in here last week with cookies and pictures he had e-mailed from Iraq,” said Mooney Starr, general manager of the dealership.

“We were notified around 8:15 this morning. He was quiet, a hardworking guy,” Starr said. “We’ve been keeping in contact. He had a job when he came back.”

Starr said the company plans to do something to aid the family, possibly by opening an account.

Lisa Buie said neighbors brought food, and some women from the church had taken down her Christmas tree this morning.

“He refused to let himself be afraid. He knew so many people were praying for him, and he believed in his job and knew what he was doing was right,” she said. “I’m proud of him. I’m not angry. I refuse to dishonor his memory with anger.”

Others killed in the Tuesday attack were driver Spc. Joshua Marcum of Evening Shade and gunner Sgt. Jeremy McHalffey from Mabelvale. The soldiers were with the 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion of Arkansas’ 39th Infantry Brigade.
A crowd poured into the University of Arkansas Community College's Independence Hall to bid a final salute to Cpl. Jimmy Buie of Floral Friday. Some knew him; some didn't.

Photos of Buie helping his stepsons with a go-cart, his wedding and various pictures of his tour in Iraq flashed on a screen as the service begin. 

Buie, 43, was killed Jan. 4 in the al-Shaab district of Baghdad, Iraq by an improvised explosive device. He left behind Lisa, his wife of four years, and two stepsons, Ryan and Tyler Campbell.

With nearly 500 people attending the funeral, there were very few empty seats. The family was escorted to the front middle section of the auditorium. The members of Company B were seated in the rows behind them.

"Three friends, three soldiers, three American heroes," Maj. Gen. Don C. Morrow described Buie and two other soldiers who died in the same incident: Spc. Josh Marcum of Evening Shade and Sgt. Jeremy McHalffey of Mabelvale. "Those are the folks we honor this week. Three soldiers from this area gave their all for our country." 

The soldiers were with the 2nd Platoon of Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion of Arkansas' 39th Infantry Brigade.

"Cpl. Jimmy Buie was truly an outstanding American hero," said Morrow, who is the adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard. "As I've had the honor to speak about several of our soldiers, I find that each of them are outstanding Americans, or they wouldn't have been doing what they were doing.

"Jimmy was truly dedicated to the job he was doing in Iraq," Morrow continued. "He made many friends among the Iraqis, and it caused him pain to see the Iraqis' living conditions.

"His mother and dad did a terrific job with Jimmy Buie," Morrow added. "He was truly an outstanding American."

Sgt. Maj. Deborah Collins read each medal and award citation as Morrow presented them to Lisa and Buie's parents, Jessie and Carolyn Buie: the Bronze Star Medal for giving the ultimate sacrifice, the Purple Heart for injuries received, Combat Infantry Badge for serving ground combat during enemy hostile fire and the Arkansas Distinguished Service Medal.

Many describe Buie as a loving family man but also as a man who searched for purpose. As one of five children, Buie understood the definition of teamwork. 

"Family was the love of Jimmy's life," said the Rev. Wayne Thomas of the First Church of the Nazarene. "Just like Jesus, he (Buie) knew what he was doing, and why he was doing it ... he did it for all of us," Thomas said about Buie's choice to serve his country again. "When you see the stars and stripes on the flag, or you see the stars in the sky at night, take a moment to honor Jimmy."

Buie joined the military after high school because he wanted to do something that had meaning, according to his brother-in-law, Gerald Mason. 

Serving seven years, "he still had the question in his heart, 'Who am I; who am I?'," Mason said. "'Til the day he met Lisa ... it made a difference in Jimmy. He found his purpose; he found his cause; he found his identity; he found out who he was."

According to Mason, Buie was an active member of the First Church of the Nazarene in Batesville. Buie talked with a recruiter and re-enlisted while manning a church booth at the Independence County Fair. In October he went to Fort Hood, Texas before his deployment to Iraq. Three months later, his body lay in a flag draped casket at the end of a large, dimly lit auditorium.

"The uniform made the man. It's changed him; he's back in his atmosphere. He's doing what he wants to do," Mason said he heard Lisa say.

"He wanted to make a difference and serve his country," Mason continued.

Beginning with Morrow, each person in military uniform, one by one, gave a last salute as they passed the flag-draped casket. The Honor Guard then wheeled it up the aisle to the waiting hearse.

After the family was escorted from the auditorium, the crowd followed. The cars then proceeded from the packed parking lot at UACCB to Oaklawn Cemetery.

An American flag hung over the entrance of the cemetery as each car passed underneath.

Under the blue tent, Thomas offered a few words and read a poem.

The crowd of mourners huddled under and around the tent. Two pallbearers raised the burial flag, holding it waist high and stretched over the casket while "Taps" was played in the distance and three volleys from seven rifles were fired into the air. The two men then folded the flag into a triangle and handed it to Morrow. Kneeling, Morrow presented it to Lisa "on behalf of a grateful nation."
From The Gazette gazette.com 10/01/05:

The cold Colorado stone that carries her grandson’s newly etched name matched the dreariness in Pat Miller’s heart Friday. She couldn’t help but cry as she considered her oldest grandchild, Jimmy to his family, Spc. James H. Miller IV in the words cut in rock. Her tears gradually gave way to pride in the afterglow of a memorial service that honored Miller and 113 other soldiers killed in Iraq and now added in name to a war memorial near Fort Carson’s main gate. “He died on election day,” she said, referring to voting Jan. 30, 2005, in Ramadi, Iraq, where her grandson served with the post’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team. Miller, 22, from Cincinnati, was killed by a roadside bomb. Pat Miller said her grandson is a hero because he died helping the Iraqis take their first step toward democracy. “We would do anything in the world to honor Jimmy,” she said, again battling tears. That mix of grief and pride pervaded the Friday morning ceremony that drew 1,500 people to honor soldiers from Fort Carson and an affiliated Arkansas National Guard brigade who were killed in Iraq during the past year. “There was no changing his mind,” Lisa Buie said about her husband, Cpl. Jimmy D. Buie, 43, of Floral, Ark. At 42, Buie met a National Guard recruiter at a county fair. Four months later, Buie was in Baghdad fighting alongside men half his age with the Guard’s 39th brigade, based in Little Rock. He died Jan. 4 in a roadside bomb attack. Lisa Buie said there’s a les- son people can learn from her husband. She wants it etched in their minds like his name is now etched in stone. “When you believe in something, you do what you can to accomplish it,” she said. Maj. Gen. Robert Mixon, Fort Carson’s commander, said he wants the memorial for soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to be a place where people share stories that give life to the 168 names put on stone tablets in the past two years. “We owe it to them and we owe it to our nation to never forget their greatness,” he said. James Maynard said he saw greatness emerge from his stepson, Pfc. Stephen P. Downing II, as he served in Iraq with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. “He was a hell of a lot more of a man. He knew he mattered,” Maynard said. “He meant something.” Downing, 30, of Burkesville, Ky., died in a firefight with insurgents Oct. 28. “He’s still alive in our hearts,” Maynard said. Nearby, Terry Savage said her son would have liked the storytelling that followed the ceremony. Spc. Brian A. Vaughn, 23, of Pell City, Ala., died June 21 during a firefight in Ramadi where he served with the 2nd Brigade. “He always had a story to tell you,” Savage said with a bittersweet smile. “And he always kept everybody happy.” Even the happy memories were tough for soldiers at the ceremony, many of whom wept as the names of comrades added to the memorial were read. “It just brings home that they all are a family,” said Mary Grimes, whose brother, Capt. Sean Grimes of the 2nd Brigade, was killed by a roadside bomb in Ramadi on March 4. “You realize there is another big green family and they’re mourning, too,” she said. Maj. Lee Desjardins with the 2nd Brigade said that though soldiers take time out to mourn comrades in Iraq, Friday’s ceremony was different. “When you see the families and the pain on their faces, it hurts doubly more,” he said. “It brings it back.”

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