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Robert Daniel Odell
Sergeant Major, United States Army
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NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1317-04
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December24, 2004
Media Contact: Army Public Affairs - (703) 692-2000 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of thirteen soldiers supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died December 21, 2004, in Mosul, Iraq, when their dining facility was attacked.  Killed were:

Captain William W. Jacobsen Jr., 31, of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Jacobsen was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington.

Sergeant Major Robert D. Odell, 38, of Manassas, Virginia.  O'Dell was assigned to the United States Army Intelligence & Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Sergeant 1st Class Paul D. Karpowich, 30, of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania.  Karpowich was assigned to the Army Reserve's 2nd Battalion, 390th Infantry Regiment, Webster, New York.

Staff Sergeant Julian S. Melo, 47, of Brooklyn, New York.  Melo was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington.

Staff Sergeant Darren D. VanKomen, 33, of Bluefield, West Virginia.  VanKomen was ssigned to the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington.

Staff Sergeant Robert S. Johnson, 23, of Castro Valley, California.  Johnson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington.

Sergeant Lynn R. Poulin Sr., 47, of Freedom, Maine.  Poulin was assigned to the Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Battalion, Belfast, Maine.

Specialist Jonathan Castro, 21, of Corona, California  Castro was assigned to the 73rd Engineer Company, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington.

Specialist Thomas J. Dostie, 20, of Sommerville, Maine.  Dostie was assigned to the Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Battalion, Portland, Maine.

Specialist Cory M. Hewitt, 26, of Stewart, Tennessee  Hewitt was assigned to the 705th Ordnance Company, Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Specialist Nicholas C. Mason, 20, of King George, Virginia.  Mason was assigned to the Army National Guard's 276th Engineer Battalion, West Point, Virginia.

Specialist David A. Ruhren, 20, of Stafford, Va.  Ruhren was assigned to the Army National Guard's 276th Engineer Battalion, West Point, Virginia.

Private First Class Lionel Ayro, 22, of Jeanerette, Louisiana.  Ayro was assigned to the 73rd Engineer Company, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at
(703) 692-2000.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Sisters share memories of Odell
Apple Valley High graduate was killed in Iraq mess tent bombing
By SONJA LEE
Courtesy of the Daily Press

A 1984 graduate of Apple Valley High School was among the 24 killed in last month's suicide bombing attack on a military mess tent in Mosul, the U.S. Army and his family said.

Sergeant Major Maj. Robert D. Odell, 38, was a member of the Army's Special Forces, serving with Intelligence and Security Command in Iraq. He was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Va. Odell was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on January 4, 2005.

"He strove for excellence in everything he did," said his sister, Jeannie Taylor, who lives in Apple Valley. "He was outstanding in everything."

As a member of the Army's elite Special Forces "Green Berets" Odell scored in the top 0.5 percent, his sister said. Many of the assignments Odell performed in his 19 years in the military were secret.

Odell is survived by his wife, Cynthia Odell, and three children, Connor, 5, Joshua, 3, and Olivia, 2, who live in Virginia. He is also survived by his father, Bob Odell; mother, Danice Bigelow; sisters Jeannie Taylor, Suzie Schonaur, Rhonda Whitham and Robin Odell; brother Michael Jones; and father-in-law and mother-in-law Oliver and Patricia Skok.

Odell joined the Army in September 1985 and later graduated from Ranger school before pursuing a career in Special Forces. In 1989, Odell earned the Special Forces Tab and the Green Beret.

He was twice awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge and also earned the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. He served in Panama and in the first Gulf War.

From the time Odell was a young boy, the Army was his calling, Taylor said. She recalled that a car once backed over Odell when he was 2-years-old while he was playing with army men.

Rhonda Whitman of Lompoc, another sister of Odell, remembers her older brother setting up an obstacle course and then having her time him.

Odell was known as "Odie" to the men he worked with. He was well liked by all, his family said.

Odell met the love of his life, Cynthia, in New Orleans. After dating and long phone conversations, they married in September 1994.

Odell loved to spend time with his family. Last year, Odell took his family to San Diego Wild Animal Park and Disneyland. Then, he dropped his kids off at Taylor's house while he and his wife visited Las Vegas.

A trust fund has been set up for the benefit of his children. Donations can be sent to the Robert Odell Trust at Sterling Bank, 20045 Katy Freeway, Katy, Texas 77450.


ODELL, ROBERT DANIEL
SGM   US ARMY
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 08/28/1986 - 12/21/2004
DATE OF BIRTH: 08/28/1966
DATE OF DEATH: 12/21/2004
DATE OF INTERMENT: 01/04/2005
BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 8089
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

RD O'Dell Gravesite PHOTO
 Photo Courtesy of Holly, August 2005

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted: 14 January 2005  Updated: 21 August 2005 Updated: 23 December 2005
US Army Special Forces
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

    Bronze Star Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Purple Heart Medal