Our Fallen
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‘First Team’ Remembers Fallen Hero

By Spc. Ryan Stroud
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

  Posted With Permission Of The 1st Cavalry Division.

            BAQUBAH, Iraq (Jan. 30, 2007) -- “I can’t understand why his life was taken so quickly; I can only guess that the good Lord said, ‘Pfc. Fairlie, it is time for you to come home.  Your work on earth is complete,’” tearfully said Capt. James Locklear at the memorial ceremony for one of his fallen Soldiers, Pfc. Nathan Fairlie.

“He touched many people with his smile, positive attitude and his special way to make people laugh,” continued the commander of Company B, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

“Seeing him in person, you couldn’t help but gravitate to him,” said Locklear.  “He just had that kind of effect to him.”

            Fairlie, known by many different names like “Naked One” and “Fairlie Bear,” died from wounds received in combat, Jan. 26.  The Soldier from Co. B, 6-9 ARS, is survived by his parents, Paul and Karen Fairlie.  

“His loss is absolutely devastating to this squadron,” said Lt. Col. Keith Gogas, commander of 6-9 ARS.  “He understood the mission and worked very hard every day to be the best Scout he could be.”

The memorial took place at Forward Operating Base Warhorse, Jan. 30, with many Soldiers of the 3rd "Grey Wolf" Brigade in attendance.  Chaplain (Capt.) Douglas Fenton led the invocation and prayer while Soldiers spoke about their fondest memories of the fallen Soldier.

“Anyone who knew Pfc. Fairlie will tell you the one thing we will all remember is that great big smile and the fact that he never, ever complained,” Gogas said.  “I never saw him without that smile on his face.  He was that guy who raised everyone’s spirits and made everyone else laugh when [times] were tough.”

“He would, out of the blue, come up with this great story, and you could never be mad at him,” said Cpl. Keith Kettinger, Co. B, 6-9 ARS, and the gunner of Fairlie’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle.  “He would lift your spirits from whatever mood you were in.”

“Every person that has been in his life is not changed from meeting him,” said Staff Sgt. Mathew Sanders, Fairlie’s Bradley commander.  “The guy could brighten up a room just from walking into it.”

Fairlie was born on Oct. 21, 1985 in Candor, N.Y.  After graduating from High school, Fairlie joined the U.S. Army to become a Cavalry Scout.  Fairlie was assigned to Co. B, 6-9 ARS, where his peers said he became one of the hardest working Soldiers.

“He always maintained a hard work ethic,” Locklear said.  "Whenever you saw him, his clothes were always dirty from continuing to keep-up on the maintenance on his Bradley.”

“He was, by far, the hardest worker,” said Sanders.  “If I, or any of the other non-commissioned officers told him to do something, it was done.”

“A self proclaimed Bradley expert, Fairlie loved his Bradley and was right at home in that driver seat,” said Gogas.  “He had the most unbelievable energy that made everyone want to be better.”

As the ceremony concluded, each Soldier said their last goodbyes to their friend, Fairlie.

“To everyone who ever met him, he [will] always be known as a friend,” said Sanders.  “I will miss him.”

“The only thing I can say is we were [all] blessed to know him,” said Kettinger.  “He was like a little brother to me.” 

“Everyone should take a special memory of him and keep it close to their heart,” he sorrowfully continued.  “I love you brother.”

“We will get through this terrible loss, but will never forget our friend and fellow warrior,” said Gogas.  “Farewell, Pfc. Nathan P. Fairlie, you will not be forgotten.  You are my hero.”

“To Paul and Karen Fairlie -- words can’t make your son come back, but I just want you to know that your son touched so many lives, not only in the Troop, but in the Squadron as a whole,” said Locklear. 

“Once we have retired or ETS, and are no longer in the Army, and are telling stories to our children and grandchildren about Iraq, you can [know] people will talk about him and this will keep his spirit alive,” he tearfully concluded.

  

A Soldier attending the memorial of Pfc. Nathan Fairlie, Company B, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, mourns the death of a fallen comrade, Jan. 30.  Fairlie died from wounds received in combat, Jan. 26.  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

  

A Soldier attending the memorial of Pfc. Nathan Fairlie, Company B, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, mourns the death of a fallen comrade, Jan. 30.  Fairlie died from wounds received in combat, Jan. 26.  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

 

Staff Sgt. Mathew Sanders, Company B, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, speaks at a memorial ceremony for the driver of his Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Pfc. Nathan Fairlie.   Fairlie died from wounds received in combat, Jan. 26. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

 

A Soldier attending the memorial of Pfc. Nathan Fairlie, Company B, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, kneels down for a moment of reflection for his fallen comrade, Jan. 30.  Fairlie died from wounds received in combat, Jan. 26.  The memorial was held at Salie Gym at Forward Operating Base Warhorse in Baqubah , Iraq (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

 

Pfc. Nathan Fairlie’s helmet sits on top of his weapon during the memorial ceremony held in remembrance of Fairlie.  Fairlie, a Soldier with Company B, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, died from wounds received in combat, Jan. 26.  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

Fondest wishes go out to the family and friends of PFC Fairlie and all of our fallen and wounded Troopers - Webmaster, Cavalry Country.  

 

  SgtPrater.gif (359297 bytes)  SSGPrater1.jpg (32117 bytes)
Former 1/9 Cav. Trooper, SSG Terry W. Prater was KIA during his second tour in Iraq on 15 Mar. 2007, he was with "B" Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 2nd BCT, 1st Cavalry Division.

 

A link to The 1st Cavalry Division Website
There are many more stories and photos there!!

 

A link to our 1st Cavalry Division and attached units fallen Troopers!
May God Bless them All!

 

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