|From The Tacoma News Tribune thenewstribune.com
Fort Lewis soldier knew ‘duty and desire’
Bellevue native: Three died Thursday in bombing in Afghanistan
KRIS SHERMAN; The News Tribune
Last updated: September 27th, 2009 07:01 AM (PDT)
Love of his new wife, love of his family and love for his country filled the young life of Army Spc. Joseph V. White of Bellevue, his mother said Saturday.
As he departed for Afghanistan with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis in July, he wasn’t happy to be leaving his bride, Jessica.
But he didn’t complain, Robyn White said of her son.
He went “with a strong sense of duty and desire to maintain freedom and safety for others,” she said in an e-mailed statement.
The 21-year-old White was one of three Fort Lewis soldiers killed Thursday when a roadside bomb exploded near their Stryker vehicle at Omar Zai in southeastern Afghanistan, the Army said. Sgt. Edward B. Smith, 30, of Homestead, Fla., and Sgt. Titus R. Reynolds, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, also died in the blast.
They were assigned to the 5th Brigade’s 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment. Fifteen of the brigade’s 3,900 soldiers have been killed since it deployed in July; all but one death has been the result of roadside bombs detonating near a vehicle or during a foot patrol.
White, who was homeschooled and took some classes at Bellevue Community College, joined the Army in Seattle on Sept. 19, 2006.
He completed basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and served as an assistant gunner with the 82nd Airborne Brigade at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he served one tour in Iraq. He reported to Fort Lewis in March. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan.
The son of Doug and Robyn White was a young man of varied interests who once led an Ultimate Frisbee team, solidified his love for Jessica as the two hiked Northwest trails, built Lego structures with his little sisters and played X-Box video games with his brothers.
He enjoyed drawing and paintball, too, but mostly he was a “committed loyal brother” to his nine siblings, friend to many and devoted husband, his mother said.
He proposed to Jessica during the Christmas holidays last year.
Their wedding “was an incredibly joyful day,” his mother said. “But it was with great sadness when we said goodbye a month and a half later.”
“Jessica was very supportive of Joe’s military commitment and proud of her husband’s service to our country as we all are,” Robyn White wrote.
“Joe had a strong faith in God and knew that no matter what happened in his service to the military that he was in God’s hands ...,” she added. “Joseph White is our hero and will be greatly missed by many, many people.”
News Tribune staff writer Scott Fontaine contributed to this report.
Sgt. Titus R. Reynolds
Reynolds was nearing the end of his four-year enlistment and recently was promoted to sergeant, his father, Rod Reynolds, told the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch newspaper. He’d been at Fort Lewis since 2007.
The soldier and his wife, Nikki, were to celebrate their first wedding anniversary in about a month, the newspaper reported.
Rod Reynolds told Dispatch reporters his son was a talented musician who played electric guitar at church.
Neighbors near the Reynolds’ home lined the street with flags on hearing of the young man’s death, the newspaper said.
“Titus would do anything for you,” neighbor Sheryl Sycks told the Dispatch. “He was nice and mannerly,” she said, describing him to reporters as a “sweet kid,” who took time and trouble to help neighbors carry groceries in to their houses.
Rod Reynolds told the Columbus newspaper his son reassured him about his deployment to Afghanistan, saying he’d be prepared to assess dangerous situations.
“I don’t know how you can watch for roadside bombs,” his father told the Dispatch.
Sgt. Edward B. Smith
Smith enlisted in the Army nine years ago and served a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq during 2004-2005 while assigned to the Germany-based 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, the Army said.
He was posted at Fort Knox, Ky., before assignment to Fort Lewis in 2007.
Originally published: September 27th, 2009 12:36 AM (PDT)
|From The Tacoma News Tribune thenewstribune.com
Roadside bomb kills three Fort Lewis soldiers
Posted By Scott Fontaine on September 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm Bookmark and Share Share this
Three Fort Lewis soldiers, including one from Bellevue, were killed Thursday in Afghanistan, the military announced Saturday.
Sgt. Titus R. Reynolds, Sgt. Edward B. Smith and Spc. Joseph V. White died when a bomb exploded near their Stryker in Omar Zai, Afghanistan. The three served with 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which has served in southeastern Afghanistan since July.
Fifteen of the brigade's 3,900 soldiers have been killed since it deployed in July; all but one death has been the result of roadside bombs detonating near a vehicle or during a foot patrol.
White, a 21-year-old Bellevue native, had served with the Army since September 2006. After serving in North Carolina with the 82nd Airborne Division, he reported to Fort Lewis on March 10. This was his first deployment.
Smith was on his second deployment; the 30-year-old Homestead, Fla., native had previously served in Iraq with Germany-based 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment. He arrived at Fort Lewis in June 2007.
Reynolds, a 23-year-old artillery specialist form Columbus, Ohio, also was on his first deployment. He joined the Army in November 2005 and had been at Fort Lewis since January 2007.
Reynolds was a talented musician who played electric guitar and bass at his church, his father told the Columbus Dispatch of Ohio. He and his wife, Nikki, had been married about 11 months.
Reynolds’ father was nervous for his son’s safety as the deployment loomed. But Rod Reynolds told the Dispatch his son reassured him he would be able to recognize dangerous situations.
“I don't know how you can watch for roadside bombs," his father told the newspaper.
|From KOMO komonews.com
Bellevue soldier among 3 Strykers killed in Afghanistan
by KOMO Staff
Originally printed at http://www.komonews.com/news/local/61901782.html
FORT LEWIS, Wash. — Three Stryker soldiers killed Thursday in Afghanistan were based at Fort Lewis, and one of them is a local man from Bellevue, Pentagon officials confirmed Saturday.
The three fallen soldiers were identified as Spc. Joseph V. White, 21, of Bellevue; Sgt. Edward B. Smith, 30, of Homestead, Fla.; and Sgt. Titus R. Reynolds, 23, of Columbus, Ohio.
The three died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device in Omar Zai, Afghanistan.
They were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Lewis. The brigade deployed to Afghanistan in July. Since then, they have lost 14 soldiers in combat.
Family members said Spc. Joseph V. White of Bellevue got married a month and a half before heading to Afghanistan with the Stryker brigade. It was his first overseas deployment.
His mother, Robyn, said: "He was an awesome son and brother and always spent special time with the family and friends when he was on leave."
He was the second-oldest of 10 siblings. His family calls him a "hero" who was very strong in his faith.
According to unit records, White enlisted in the Army on Sept. 19, 2006, in Seattle.
He reported to Fort Benning, Ga., on Oct. 25, 2006, for initial entry training, then to Fort Bragg, N.C., on Aug. 22, 2007, where he served as an assistant gunner with the 82nd Airborne Brigade.
White reported to Fort Lewis on March 10, 2009, and was assigned to 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. This was his first deployment.
White, a high school graduate, completed the mortarman qualification course and airborne school in 2007.
His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Parachutist Badge.
Sgt. Edward B. Smith enlisted in the Army on June 10, 2002, and reported to Fort Lewis on June 10, 2007, when he was assigned to 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
Sgt. Titus R. Reynolds enlisted Nov. 22, 2005, at Columbus, Ohio, and reported to Fort Lewis on Jan. 9, 2007, and was assigned to 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. This was his first deployment.