Jeremy Martin Campbell
Sergeant, United States Army
NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Specialist Jeremy M. Campbell, 21, of Middlebury, Pennsylvania, died on September 11, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq, where an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during patrol operations. Campbell was assigned to the 108th Military Police Company, 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne), 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs
at (703) 692-2000.
Wellsboro Mayor James Daugherty has proclaimed Sunday "Jeremy Campbell Memorial Day" in Wellsboro in tribute to the fallen soldier.
"I thought it was appropriate," Daugherty said. "I thought it was the least we could do for him."
Wellsboro firefighters said they would line Main Street with American flags this weekend, a tradition usually reserved for some national holidays.
And firefighters will suspend a flag from the ladder of an aerial truck at the entrance to Wellsboro High School on Sunday, in time for Campbell's memorial service.
Campbell, 21, of Middlebury, died Sunday in Baghdad when an explosive device detonated near the Humvee he was riding in. He was a 2002 graduate of Wellsboro High School.
The Wellsboro Area School District and Wellsboro Ministerium joined forces to arrange Sunday's memorial service, which begins at 6 p.m. in the high school gym.
"The school district and Ministerium will begin the service with a welcome," assistant principal Steve Adams said. "Then (the Rev.) Alex Perednia will read scripture verses and give a eulogy."
State Rep. Matthew E. Baker, R-Wellsboro, will give community reflections on Campbell, and Adams will comment on behalf of the school district.
Teacher and Vietnam veteran Frank Yungwirth will speak for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and then members of the Ministerium will comment, Adams said.
The Wellsboro Men's Chorus will perform, and the Rev. Dave Dennis will offer final words and a benediction, Adams said.
Flags, pictures of Campbell and related items will occupy the center of the gym.
The school district announced the memorial service on Wednesday, and it came together quickly, Adams said.
"I'm very pleased with the community support and the support we got from the local Ministerium," he said. "That's what makes Wellsboro great and America great - people stepping up to help other people when the need is there."
Campbell lived with step-grandparents Aaron Wilbur and the late Phyllis Wilbur on North Road, near Holiday, from age 13 until he joined the Army three years ago.
Wilbur, who now lives in Big Flats, and Jeremy's aunt, Sharon Campbell of Black River, New York, said Friday that funeral arrangements were incomplete.
"I believe it's going to be in Arlington National Cemetery," Wilbur said. "But I haven't heard the time or day yet."
A memorial service was held Friday at Fort Bragg, N.C., where Jeremy Campbell's unit was based, Campbell said.
Funeral for G.I. from Middlebury Center draws 700
Courtesy of the Sun-Gazette
About 700 people crowded into the new Wellsboro High School gym to remember fallen soldier United States Army Pfc. Jeremy Campbell Sunday evening, September 18, 2005.
Among those in attendance were about 100 friends and family members of the 21 year old military police officer, who died in Iraq September 11, 2005, when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee while on patrol.
Campbell’s stepgrandfather, Aaron Wilbur, of Horseheads, New York, and his aunt Sharon Campbell and uncle Malcolm Campbell, both of Black River, New York, sat in the front row of bleachers.
All three wept softly when the American flag was presented to them by Frank Yungwirth, commander of the Wellsboro VFW Post and when a Pennsylvania legislative resolution of condolence was presented by state representative Matt Baker.
The young hero, who was highly decorated, was memorialized by several local pastors, his high school principals and Yungwirth, who saluted him as “a brother in arms.”
“I remember Jeremy as a student, one of my
kids, but he grew up to be much more,” Yungwirth recalled.
Yungwirth urged those in attendance to remember that “we are not saying goodbye to Jeremy, rather farewell and God’s Speed. He is breaking the trail for all of us who must some day follow.”
“Our nation is grateful for the courageous sacrifice he was forced to make. If this nation has a soul, let us pray for the soul of Jeremy,” Yungwirth said. “Farewell and God Speed.”
Baker thanked the family for the life of the young soldier, who also left behind a young wife, “who just turned 19,” he said. Maddison Campbell remains in the Middle East also serving her country, Baker said.
“This past weekend was also the fourth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed so many of our fellow citizens,” Baker said.
Baker thanked Jeremy for protecting the United States from more terrorist attacks like 9-11, and then recalled reading an interview in a newspaper with another young American soldier in Iraq.
“The reporter asked the soldier what made him different from the Iraqi soldier shooting in the distance. He answered that the difference is ’I am willing to die for the freedom of my country and for him, and he doesn’t even know what freedom is.’“
Wellsboro High School principal, Pat Hewitt, said he would always remember Jeremy for his “cheery smile and outlook on life.”
He recalled that the last time he had seen Jeremy, he was struck at how the boy had become a man, and “his pride and sense of accomplishment just beamed from his very soul.”
“I know I’m a better person for knowing Jeremy,” Hewitt said.
“Jeremy Campbell will always be remembered as a hero,” he added.
Pastor Alex Perednia of the Middlebury Baptist Church read a letter from Jeremy’s commanding officer at Mosol, Iraq, military police platoon leader 1st Lieutenant Eric Miner, which was sent to his aunt and uncle.
“Jeremy was one of the best, if not the best soldier in his platoon,” the letter read.
“He has matured into a dedicated soldier, doing a thankless job. It’s the sacrifice that young soldiers like Private First Class Campbell make that make America great. You should be proud of him,” the letter continued.
Perednia called Jeremy a hero and then pointed listeners to the cross of Christ to find solace in the face of the question “why did the young man have to die?”
“I don’t pretend to know the answer to that question, but when I’m wrestling with the tough questions of life, I remember the cross, where 2000 years ago on a hill called “the Skull,” God’s Son, Jesus Christ, made the ultimate sacrifice to save the world from sin.”
“God, too, has tasted death to overthrow evil.” he said. “As a community, no matter what our individual beliefs, we have to pull together to honor Jeremy here today,” he added.
The Rev. Dr. David Dennis, vice-president of the Wellsboro Ministerium, concluded the service by asking those in attendance to remember Jeremy not as a boy but as a man who had found his place in the world, and was doing what he knew he was called to do.
“Let’s find peace that Jeremy found his place, his call, he believed in what he was doing and he was willing to pay the price for the freedom of others,” he said. “Remember the cost of Liberty, remember the man.” Private First Class Jeremy Campbell will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery next week, Baker said.
Specialist Campbell will be buried with full
military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 27 September 2005.
Soldier Volunteered for Second Iraq Tour
Pa. Man's Former Principal Recalls 'How Proud He Was of What He Was Doing'
By Lila de Tantillo
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Specialist Jeremy Campbell enlisted in the Army right out of high school. He was sent to Iraq, and when his tour of duty ended, he volunteered to return.
Campbell, 21, died September 11, 2005, while
on patrol in Baghdad, when an explosive device detonated near his Humvee.
He had been assigned to the 108th Military Police Company, 503rd Military
Police Battalion (Airborne), 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), based
at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Yesterday, dozens of mourners watched as Campbell was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Among them were his wife, Maddison Campbell, and a contingent of soldiers from Fort Bragg.
An honor guard carried his flag-draped wooden coffin to a grave site decorated with red, white and blue flowers. A cool, crisp wind scattered the first of the fall leaves as Army Chaplain Kenneth Kerr spoke of the soldier's sacrifice.
"He believed in the cause; he believed in his nation," Kerr said. "He gave his all for his country . . . and for the future of freedom."
A rifle volley rang out, and a bugler played taps. The honor guard then solemnly folded the flag covering the coffin and Major General Howard B. Bromberg knelt as he presented it to Campbell's widow.
Campbell, of Middlebury, Pennsylvania, had spent his early years in Upstate New York but moved to Tioga County in Pennsylvania at 13, after both his parents died. He was raised by relatives, who took him to church and instilled in him a love for the outdoors, particularly hunting and fishing, friends said.
He was a 2002 graduate of Wellsboro Area High School, where he played tennis, served as sports editor of the yearbook and edited the school newspaper, the Hornet Herald, according to Principal Patrick Hewitt. Campbell had a penchant for good-natured practical jokes that his winning smile made easy to forgive, he said.
Hewitt, who had known Campbell since middle school, recalled how the young soldier seemed to have changed and grown more serious when he returned for a brief visit while on leave less than a year ago. He had plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice, Hewitt said.
"He became a young man through the service," Hewitt said. "He expressed how proud he was of what he was doing and how it was making a difference."
Hundreds of friends, family members and area residents came to pay their respects to Campbell at a memorial service held Sept. 18 at the high school gymnasium.
A eulogy was given by Alex Perednia, pastor of Middleburg Baptist Church, where Campbell had been active in the youth group.
"Everyone says that when Jeremy got excited about something, he worked toward a goal," Perednia said at the service. He read the assembly a letter from Campbell's superior from his first tour in which he praised Campbell's dedication. "In just a short time, he became a highly decorated soldier and was well-respected by his fellow soldiers and commanding officers."
Pennsylvania state Rep. Matthew E. Baker (R), who represents the Wellsboro area, also spoke at the memorial. "I thank Jeremy," Baker said to those who had gathered to remember the young man's life. "I thank him from the bottom of my heart for his dedication to our country while fighting for the freedom of Iraqi citizens and protecting America against future terrorist attacks."
Campbell is the 176th person killed in Operation
Iraqi Freedom to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Fallen soldier's family says thanks for support
October 5, 2005
On September 27, 2005, Sharon and Malcolm Campbell said goodbye to their nephew, Jeremy Campbell, during a service at Arlington National Cemetery.
Now they want to thank the folks who helped keep his memory alive.
"I would like to say thanks to the people who planned the wonderful service at Jeremy's high school," Sharon said.
Jeremy Campbell, a 21-year-old Army Specialist from Middlebury Township, died September 11, 2005, in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near the Humvee he was riding in. He was a 2002 graduate of Wellsboro High School.
A memorial service at the school on September 18, 2005, drew an estimated 800 friends, classmates and family members. Sharon and Malcolm Campbell attended that service, as well as the one at Arlington National Cemetery. They were Jeremy's closest relatives, next to his wife, Maddison, a soldier who is now at Fort Bragg. Jeremy's parents are dead.
"The service at Arlington was very sad, but it was very nice," Sharon said. "They had a lot of people there. They had an honor guard and a 21-gun salute. They played taps. It was very dignified."
As was the local service, during which family members, including stepgrandfather Aaron Wilbur of Big Flats, received a folded American flag from service veterans.
Sharon singled out several people involved in the memorial service for special thanks: high school principal Pat Hewitt and assistant principal Steve Adams, the Rev. Mark Shover, the Rev. Robert Shuey, the Rev. Alex Perednia, the Rev. Robert Greer, the Rev. David Dennis, teacher and Vietnam veteran Frank Yungwirth and the Wellsboro Men's Chorus.
She also extended thanks to "Wellsboro, Middlebury Center and Tioga County."
"The family of Jeremy M. Campbell is very grateful for your overwhelming support and concern during this difficult time," Sharon said. "The wonderful service organized and presented by all of you will remain in our hearts forever, along with our fond memories of our dear Jeremy. We are very grateful to all of you."
CAMPBELL, JEREMY MARTIN
Posted: 19 September 2005 Updated: 23 September 2005 Updated: 27 September 2005 Updated: 26 December 2005 Updated: 21 January 2006