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Roger W. Haller
Sergeant Major, United States Army
Maryland State Flag
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 081-07
January 24, 2007

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of 12 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died in Baghdad, Iraq, on January 20, 2007, when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter they were in crashed.

Killed were:

Colonel Brian D. Allgood, 46, of Oklahoma, who was assigned to the 30th Medical Brigade, Europe Regional Medical Command, Heidelberg, Germany.

Staff Sergeant Darryl D. Booker, 37, of Midlothian, Virginia, who was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, Virginia Army National Guard, Sandston, Virginia.

Sergeant First Class John G. Brown, 43, of Little Rock, Arkansas, who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Arkansas.

Lieuetnant Colonel David C. Canegata III, 50, of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was assigned to the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Command Sergeant Major Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, Iowa, who was assigned to Joint Forces Headquarters, Iowa Army National Guard, Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.

Command Sergeant Major Roger W. Haller, 49, of Davidsonville, Maryland, who was assigned to the 70th Regiment, Regional Training Institute - Maryland, Maryland Army National Guard, Reisterstown, Maryland.

Colonel Paul M. Kelly, 45, of Stafford, Virginia, who was assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Virginia Army National Guard in Blackstone, Virginia.

Sergeant First Class Floyd E. Lake, 43, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was assigned to the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Corporal Victor M. Langarica, 29, of Decatur, Georgia, who was assigned to the 86th Signal Battalion, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

Captain Sean E. Lyerly, 31, of Pflugerville, Texas., who was assigned to the Texas Army National Guard’s 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, 36th Infantry Division, Austin, Texas.

Captain Michael V. Taylor, 40, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Arkansas.

First Sergeant William T. Warren, 48, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Arkansas.

The incident is under investigation.

For information on Allgood, the media can contact the European Regional Medical Command public affairs office at 011-49-6221-17-3317.

For information on Booker and Kelly, the media can contact the Virginia National Guard public affairs office at (434) 298-6107.

For information on Brown, Taylor and Warren, the media can contact the Arkansas National Guard public affairs office at (501) 212-5020.

For information on Canegata and Lake, the media can contact the Virgin Islands National Guard public affairs office at (340) 712-7750.

For information on Gabbard, the media can contact the Iowa National Guard public affairs office at (515) 252-4582.

For information on Haller, the media can contact the Maryland National Guard public affairs office at (410) 576-6179.

For information on Langarica, the media can contact the Fort Huachuca public affairs office at (520) 533-2752.

For information on Lyerly, the media can contact the Texas National Guard public affairs office at (512) 782-1034.



A senior enlisted soldier in the Maryland National Guard who begged to be sent overseas after the September 11,2001, terrorist attacks was one of 12 service members killed Saturday when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed north of Baghdad, Iraq, military officials said yesterday.

Command Sergeant Major Roger Haller, 49, served as the highest-ranking enlisted leader in a training unit at Camp Fretterd near Reisterstown before being assigned to the National Guard Bureau, the military's liaison with state militias, and deployed to Afghanistan.

Although the Maryland National Guard declined to provide any information about Sergeant Major Haller because the Pentagon had not confirmed his death, Major General Bruce F. Tuxill, the Guard's adjutant general for Maryland, sent out an internal e-mail saying "with an extremely heavy heart," that the Annapolis-area resident had been killed in the crash.

RW Haller PHOTO

 "He just thought it was important to have people fight for the freedoms that we take for granted," said Sandra Hockman, the ex-wife of Sergeant Major Haller and the mother of his two daughters and son.

His eldest daughter, Morgan Haller, 21, told the Associated Press that her father repeatedly asked his superiors to deploy him overseas after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, eventually getting his wish after Thanksgiving last year when he was sent to Afghanistan.

Sergeaant Major Haller worked in construction and as a plumber before returning to the Guard full time.

"He was so excited. He still asked us if it was OK. I said, 'It's something you love. I'm not going to tell you no,'" Morgan Haller said. "We knew what the consequences were in him being over there. When you grow up in a military life your whole life, you know those things can happen, and you're better prepared for it than most people."

Of her father's military assignments, Morgan Haller said: "He just said he was going over there to fix other people's messes, and that's about it."

Family members told the AP that Sergeant Major Haller was a motorcycle enthusiast who taught his daughters how to hunt and fish. He enjoyed taking his family traveling.

"Every summer, we would go to a different place," Kathryn Haller, 17, a high school senior, told the AP.

Sergeant Major Haller's son, Sergeant Daniel Haller, 22, served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and came home shortly before his father was deployed, Ms. Hockman said.

According to military reports available online, Sergeant Major Haller was serving as a human resources liaison for the National Guard in Afghanistan, although it was unclear why he had gone to Iraq when he died.

Ms. Hockman said that when family members learned of Sergeant Major Haller's death, Morgan Haller did not initially believe the news.

"That's what shocked my oldest daughter. She thought, 'He's not in Iraq, he's in Afghanistan,'" Ms. Hockman said.

Sergeant Major Haller graduated with bachelor degrees in political science and history from Fairmont State College in West Virginia, where he met Ms. Hockman.

The youngest of five siblings, Sergeant Major Haller was inspired to serve in the military by his father and uncle, who both served tours in World War II in the Pacific theater, Ms. Hockman said.

He joined the National Guard in Virginia in 1981, and he and Ms. Hockman moved to the Eastern Shore in 1982. He served out of Easton for the next 10 years, then Reisterstown and Arlington, Virginia.

Sergeant Major Haller had the choice of serving a Middle East tour starting last month or in April, Ms. Hockman said. He chose the first window because he wanted to be back to the Eastern Shore in time to see his youngest daughter, 17, graduate this year from Cambridge-South Dorchester High School.

Morgan and Kathryn Haller live with Ms. Hockman in Cambridge.

The military has said little about the crash, which came on one of the deadliest days of the Iraq war, when 25 service members were killed.

Published accounts suggest that the helicopter may have been shot down by a group of Sunni insurgents with connections to al-Qaida.

Sergeant Major Haller never flinched at the opportunity to serve his country, Ms. Hockman said.

"There are some people who would say: 'There's no way I can do that.' Roger was another kind of person. He would say: 'Sign me up, I'm the guy."


Interment ceremony set for 12 killed in crash
4 October 2007

Twelve soldiers who were killed on January 20, 2007, when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Baghdad will be honored during a group interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. October 12, 2007.

The soldiers, who belonged to a number of active Army and Army National Guard units, are: Colonel Brian D. Allgood, 46, of Okla. Colonel Paul M. Kelly, 45, of Stafford, Virginia, Lieuetnant Colonel David C. Canegata III, 50, of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Captain Michael V. Taylor, 40, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Captain Sean E. Lyerly, 31, of Pflugerville, Texas, Command Sergeant Major Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, Iowa, Command Sergeant Major Roger W. Haller, 49, of Davidsonville, Maryland, First Sergeant William T. Warren, 48, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Sergeant First Class Floyd E. Lake Sr., 43, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sergeant First Class Class John G. Brown, 43, of Little Rock, Arkansas, Staff Sergeant Darryl D. Booker, 37, of Midlothian, Virginia, and Corporal Victor M. Langarica, 29, of Decatur, Georgia.

After the ceremony, Lieutenant General Clyde Vaughn, director of the Army National Guard, will host a reception for all 12 families at the Army Guard's Readiness Center in Arlington, Virginia.

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted: 4 October 2007 Updated: 14 May 2008

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RW Haller Gravesite PHOTO May 2008
Photo By Michael Robert Patterson, May 2008