151st CBRN Battalion Soldier Remembered at Memorial Ceremony in Kuwait
by 1st Theater Sustainment Command on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 4:22am
Story by Spc. Matthew H. Oda
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Soldiers throughout 115th Fires Brigade, friends, coworkers, and even those that didn’t know him gathered for a memorial service to honor the dedication, commitment, and ultimate sacrifice of Spc. Adrian L. Avila, Nov. 2nd at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
Nineteen-year-old Avila joined the Alabama Army National Guard at the age of 17 in July 2007.
He completed his basic and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Georgia where he was trained as an infantryman. After AIT, he was assigned to Alpha Company 1st Battalion 167th Infantry. He transferred to the 1343rd Chemical Company, 151st Chemical Battalion in March of 2009 to deploy with them in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and arrived in Kuwait July 4th, 2009. Avila died as a result of injuries sustained in an accident at Khabari Crossing October 29th.
“SPC Avila loved being a Soldier. He always had a smile on his face and would lift up everyone that was around him. He was always on time and in the correct uniform ready to do his part of the mission. Every day he tried to learn something that would make him a better Soldier,” said Lt. Col. Alan B. Naugher, battalion commander. “He was a model Soldier and will be greatly missed. He will leave a void in the 151st CBRN Battalion, the 167th Infantry Battalion, and the Alabama Army National Guard,” he added.
Wanting to have a tight-knit group, his platoon leader, 1Lt. Landon Maroney knew he was heading in the right direction when he realized what kind of Soldier Avila was.
“Adrian was all I could ask for in a Soldier, he bled red, white, and blue,” said Maroney. “He always volunteered to help out, worked hard and always had a smile on his face. I came to know him not only as one of my Soldiers, but also as a friend. Even though our time together was short he will always hold a spot in my heart,” he said.
His company commander, Cpt. Jesse Howard, reminisced about watching Avila grow from a teenager into a man right before his eyes by the tenacity he showed in all of his actions.
“SPC Avila was a Soldier who wanted to take on any hard challenge,” said Howard. “He was small in stature, but had a giant will to accomplish anything asked of him. He would take on the biggest guys and the hardest objectives without a second thought. There was no mission that was above who he was. He would always tease his bigger friends when they didn't want to do the task because they were a little older and maybe a little wiser. The Company will sorely miss this Soldier and his positive go get'em attitude. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of his friends and Family,” he added.
As a young man in the Army Guard, Avila impacted everyone he met, reminding them of how the youth can have a positive outlook on life and be so full of energy.
“I met Avila while training for this deployment,” said 1Lt. Benjamin G. Abbott. He was a great kid who I would always joke with every time I saw him. He always had a smile on his face and the energy that reminded us of what being a young man was all about. I took the news of his loss hard,” he added. He will be missed and never forgotten.