- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army 1st Sgt. Tobias C. Meister
Died December 28, 2005 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
30, of Jenks, Okla.; assigned to the 321st Civil Affairs Brigade, Army Reserve, San Antonio; killed Dec. 28 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat patrol operations south of Asadabad, Afghanistan.
Family, friends remember Okla. soldier killed in Afghanistan
The Associated Press
JENKS, Okla. — Friends and family members of a 30-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan gathered Friday to share their memories and pay their respects.
Pastor Eddie Stephens told more than 500 people who attended the funeral of 1st Sgt. Tobias C. Meister that they should share their stories with the fallen soldier’s young son when he is old enough to understand them.
He said 18-month-old Will Meister — called “Little Buddy” by his father — will need such reminders of his father’s legacy.
“We are all better because we encountered him,” Stephens said.
Meister was remembered as a courageous man driven by his faith and love of his family and country. He died Dec. 28 when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee south of Asadabad, Afghanistan.
“Toby was a soldier,” Maj. Gen. Herbert A. Altshuler said. “He also was a husband, father, son, brother and a friend.
“As the grandson of a World War II veteran and a senior drill instructor, he knew that freedom isn’t free.”
Altshuler praised Meister as a “model soldier and natural leader” to a large contingent of his uniformed peers that joined other mourners packed into First Baptist Church in Jenks.
Meister’s military career began when he joined the Iowa Army National Guard in 1992, two years before he graduated from high school.
Meister eventually transferred to a unit in Texas and spent four years as a drill instructor. Meister earned the Reserve Drill Instructor of the Year award in 2002 from the Association of the United States Army.
After four years as a drill instructor, Meister moved to a civil affairs unit tasked with establishing relations between the military and often-hostile civilians in other countries.
Altshuler said Meister had a vision of a safer world for his family and his country and he sacrificed his life to make it a reality.
“He represented everything that is good and kind and caring in the world,” the general said. “Toby Meister was a hero of his generation and an inspiration to us all.”
Sgt. Maj. Victor Gomez, Meister’s mentor in the military, said everyone loved Meister because he radiated strength.
“Just as it was painful for Our Father to give up his son, it’s tough for us to let (Toby) go,” he said.
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Jenks man killed in Afghanistan
The Associated Press
JENKS, Okla. — An Oklahoma soldier was killed while on patrol in Afghanistan, officials said Dec. 28.
Army Reserve 1st Sgt. Tobias C. Meister, 30, died Dec. 27 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee south of Asadabad, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense confirmed.
The Jenks resident was part of the Sand Springs-based 486th Civil Affairs Battalion and was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 321st Civil Affairs Brigade based in San Antonio, Texas.
Meister’s wife spoke with him on Dec. 25, but the last time his family saw him was this past summer, relatives said.
Meister was an Army reservist for 13 years and was named Drill Sergeant of the Year in 2002.
He and his wife have a 1-year-old son.
Meister is the 40th Oklahoman to die in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.