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Army Spc. John R. Sullivan

Died November 15, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Countryside, Ill.; assigned to the 626th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Nov. 15 when two 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq.

Funeral for 26-year-old soldier killed in Iraq

Associated Press

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. — Army Spc. John R. Sullivan, one of 17 soldiers killed Nov. 15 when two Army Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq, was buried with full military honors at Tahoma National Cemetery.

Two medals, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, were presented to his widow, Katrina.

Sullivan, 26, also left behind 2"-month-old twin boys, whom he never saw after he was sent to Iraq in July.

At his funeral Wednesday at Calvary Lutheran Church in Federal Way, families and comrades shared their pain and praise.

First Sgt. Mark Remini, who served with Sullivan in Iraq, gave the eulogy.

“Whether he was providing security on a 2,500-meter section of perimeter or working with vehicles ‘til 3 a.m. ... he always seemed to have a smile on his face,” Remini said. “Sully was the guy who could make a fellow soldier who was having a bad day feel better.”

Remini said he could tell that Sullivan was a great husband and father by the stories he told of his home life and “the light in his eyes when he did it.” He added that his friend “understood the risk of being a soldier and the price of freedom.”

Sullivan, who used to play guitar in a local rock band, couldn’t bring his guitar to Iraq, but once there, he was able to order one and have it sent to him. The guitar was lost in the crash, according to his mother-in-law, Barbara Steele of Federal Way.

“But the two boys will have his original guitar,” she said, adding that a bar in Tacoma, Neeners, plans a musical tribute.

Sullivan re-enlisted in May so the couple could afford for Katrina to stay home with the twins, Gavin John and Aiden John. He also cared for his wife’s daughter from a previous marriage, 10-year-old Jade Whitmer-Steele.

Sullivan was assigned to the 626th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, based in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Washington soldier killed in Iraq

SEATTLE — A soldier from western Washington has died in action in Iraq.

Spc. John R. Sullivan, 26, of Countryside, Ill., was identified by the Defense Department as one of the 17 soldiers who died Nov. 15 when two Army Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq.

Sullivan, assigned to the 626th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, most recently lived with his wife and three children in Federal Way, a suburb between Seattle and Tacoma.

Katrina Sullivan, 28, his wife, told KING Television of Seattle that Army representatives came to her door Sunday morning.

“I didn’t want to answer the door because I pretty much knew what they were going to tell me,” she said through tears.

Sullivan re-enlisted in the Army in May and was sent to Iraq in July. On Sept. 10 his wife gave birth to twin boys, Gaven John Sullivan and Aiden John Sullivan.

“He loved them so much even though he’d never met them,” she said. “He was a great person, he was proud of what he was doing.”

She also has a 10-year-old daughter, Jade Whitmer-Steele, said Sheila Hoffman, a family friend.

— Associated Press

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