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Derek A. Dobogai
Captain, United States Army
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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1039-07
August 23, 2007

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of 14 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died August 22, 2007, in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed.

Killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington:

Captain Corry P. Tyler, 29, of Georgia.
 Chief Warrant Officer Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, North Carolina
 Sergeant Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, California
 Specialist Rickey L. Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Missouri

Also killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii:

Captain Derek A. Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  Staff Sergeant Jason L. Paton, 25, of Poway, Califprnia
 Sergeant Garrett I. McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas
 Corporal Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Massachusetts
 Corporal Phillip J. Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Illinois
 Corporal Joshua S. Harmon, 20, of Mentor, Ohio
 Corporal Nathan C. Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, California
 Specialist Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pennsylvania
 Specialist Jessy G. Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Missouri
 Specialist Tyler R. Seideman, 20, of Lincoln, Arkansas

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

For more information related to the deaths of Tyler, Flynn, Tallman and Bell, the media may contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0152, (253) 967-0147 or after hours at (253) 967-0015 (ask for the Public Affairs Officer on call).

For more information related to the deaths of Dobogai, Paton, McLead, Bouffard, Brodnick, Harmon, Hubbard, Hook, Pollard and Seideman, the media may contact the U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii public affairs office at (808) 656-3159 or (808) 656-3157.



Group Burial Funeral Services: Friday, 24 October 2008: Arlington National Cemetery
RICKEY L BELL, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JEREMY P BOUFFARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
PHILLIP BRODNICK, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
DEREK A DOBOGAI, Captain, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
PAUL J FLYNN, Chief Warrant Officer 2, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JOSHUA C HARMON, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
MICHAEL A HOOK, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
NATHAN A HUBBARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
GARRETT I MCLEAD, Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JASON L PATON, Staff Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JESSY G POLLARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
TYLER R SEIDEMAN, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
MATTHEW L TALLMAN, Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
CORRY TYLER, Captain, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
Honoring Fallen 14 With 'Quiet Strength'

By Mark Berman
Courtesy of The Washington Post
Saturday, October 25, 2008

Four Black Hawk helicopters skimmed overhead against the backdrop of a gray, cloudy sky. Below, more than 150 people brought together by tragedy and united in grief gathered yesterday to pay tribute to 14 soldiers honored at Arlington National Cemetery.

The soldiers were killed August 22, 2007, in a helicopter crash in Multaka, Iraq. Each had been buried separately. But 14 months after the accident, which was caused by mechanical failure, family and friends bundled together on a chilly October morning for a group tribute.

The mourners followed a horse-drawn caisson bearing a single flag-cloaked silver coffin up Bradley Drive. The coffin was carried to Section 60 of the cemetery and placed amid a bevy of red, white and blue flowers.

As part of the service, folded flags were given to parents and siblings, widows and a best friend. Each flag was touched for a moment to the coffin before being handed to the loved ones of the fallen soldiers.

The soldiers were between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. They hailed from 11 states, spanning from California to Massachusetts.

Captain Corry P. Tyler, 29, of Woodbine, Georgia, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1999 and had deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2006. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, North Carolina, was a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot with a decade of service.

The eldest soldier, Sergeant Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, California, was a tall, easygoing man and a devoted father, family members told the Los Angeles Times.

The youngest soldiers were Corporal Joshua S. Harmon, of Mentor, Ohio, and Specialist Tyler R. Seideman, of Lincoln, Arkansas, both 20. Harmon, a medic, had married his wife, Kristin, 84 days before his death, she told the News-Herald in Ohio. Seideman, who loved to joke, was a generous person who would "give you the shirt off his back if you needed it," said his best friend, Jeremy Bolivear, at a memorial service honoring the soldier, according to the Morning News in Arkansas.

Specialist Rickey L. Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Missouri, joined the military in 2005 after graduating from high school.

Tyler, Flynn, Tallman and Bell were assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Captain Derek A. Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was selfless, kind and too modest to boast about his accomplishments, his family said in a statement last year. "Therefore, we will honor him with quiet strength," relatives said.

Staff Sergeant Jason L. Paton, 25, of Poway, California, was to be married November 18, 2007, family members told the Los Angeles Times. He had deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before, and his second deployment to Iraq was scheduled to end three weeks after the helicopter crash.

Sergeant Garrett I. McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas, liked surfing, skateboarding and playing soccer. He enlisted shortly after his birthday in May 2002 because of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, according to the Rockport Pilot.

Corporal Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Massachusetts, was a jokester and a loyal, dedicated man who loved his wife Amanda, son Caleb and the Boston Red Sox. Nearly 1,000 mourners attended his funeral last year, according to the Boston Globe.

Corporal Phillip J. Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Illinois, was "the life of the party," a friend wrote on the guest book of a Web site dedicated to his memory.

Corporal Nathan C. Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, California, was one of three brothers serving in Iraq. Marine Lance Corporal Jared Hubbard was killed in 2004, so Nathan and Jason Hubbard enlisted to honor their brother's sacrifice. Jason Hubbard was in the same platoon as Nathan and in a helicopter ordered to secure the crash site, according to CNN.

Specialist Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, was excited to come home because his fiancee, Susan Fetterman, was pregnant, according to the Altoona Mirror. Mere weeks after the crash, she gave birth to their son, Mason.

Corporal Jessy G. Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Missouri, embraced and believed in what he was doing and would tell family members about jumping out of planes at night, they told the Associated Press.

Dobogai, Paton, McLead, Bouffard, Brodnick, Harmon, Hubbard, Hook, Pollard and Seideman were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Yesterday's burial brought to 447 the number of Iraq war casualties buried, memorialized or inurned at Arlington National Cemetery.


Captain Derek A. Dobogai, 26, a Western Illinois University alumnus, was among the 14 U.S. soldiers aboard a Black Hawk helicopter that crashed Wednesday (August 22, 2007) in northern Iraq, according to the Defense Department. All 14 soldiers were killed in the crash, which the military said was likely caused by mechanical problems.

Dobogai (Fon du Lac, Wisconsin), a member of the Western Illinois University Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC), was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army on December 12, 2003. He earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in law enforcement and justice administration that same fall.

"Derek Dobogai epitomized the very best of Western students and the very best of the Army's officer corps," said retired Lieutenant Colonel Michael Cumbie, who was chair of the military science department during Dobogai's tenure. "He valued his education, excelled in his extracurricular activities and motivated those around him to achieve more in their lives. Today is a sad day for the Dobogai family and for Western."

He had a distinguished undergraduate career at Western Illinois as a member of the ROTC Bulldog Battalion. At the May 2004 commissioning ceremony, Dobogai was name the recipient of Western's Colonel Leo W. Manning Outstanding ROTC Cadet Award, which recognizes the year's (2003-2004) top graduating military science department cadet, based on academics, military commissioning with assignment into a combat arms branch or military police corps, a record of high achievement in ROTC and extracurricular and community involvement.

Following his Fall 2003 commissioning, Derek completed Infantry Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, and had began U.S. Army Ranger School May 9. Derek's mother, Lisa Dobogai, accepted the award on his behalf.

Dobogai also competed in athletics (2001-2002) at Western. He was among the top Leatherneck cross county runners and ran the steeplechase in track.

While at Western, Dobogai was ranked as the No. 14 Army ROTC cadet in the nation among more than 4,000 cadets, Cumbie said. He was a U.S. Army Ranger School graduate and a U.S. Army Airborne School graduate. He also earned the distinction as the "Lieutenant of the Year" for the 25th Infantry Division (based in Hawaii).

Dobogai served combat tours in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq.

The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, Captain Derek A. Dobogai, who died in the service of his country on August 22, 2007 in Multaka, Iraq. The cause of death was listed as Helicopter Crash. At the time of his death Derek was 26 years of age. He was from Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin.

The decorations earned by Captain Derek A. Dobogai include: the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. 

DA Dobogai Commissioning Ceremony PHOTO
 Derek Dobogai's December 12, 2003 commissioning, with his mother and father, Lisa and David Dobogai

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Posted: 25 October 2008
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Purple Heart Medal