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Sgt. David L. Roustum Tribute to Sgt David L. Roustum, and all those that serve our Country.

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  #1  
Old 12-09-2004, 06:23 PM
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Promises made.

Hello everyone. This is an updated look at the events of the past three weeks. This is not only a tribute to David, but to ALL of those defending our freedoms around the world.

My friend "Armrdangel", Sheila uses this signature...

As it was their job to defend our freedom, so it becomes our job to honor their memories….”

And so it goes......promises made and this is a promise kept. I for one will never forget this courageous young man.

If you have a rememberance or photo or word of encouragement......please feel free to post it here.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:35 PM
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Re: Promises made.

Where to start??
What has been a profoundly sad three weeks just never seemed like it would ever end.

I'll start here, some time ago, a new family moved in across the street. Nice folks, two young kids. Just nice people.

As the years went by and the kids grew up, the years of football in the street, hockey, school, college, summer jobs and Military service, both kids grew to be responsible young men and productive citizens. The kind of young people every parent dreams their kids will turn out to be.
Looking forward to the future and embracing life.......

That all came to an end November 20, 2004 when the youngest child, David, was killed during an ambush and subsequent fire fight in Baghdad, Iraq.

Our worst fears became reality that morning as the Army notified the family. No details were availabe at the time.
And thus began the wait......
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:50 PM
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The wait

We were at a going away family get together for another young man on his way to Iraq and came home to the news.
The house was already full of friends and relatives.....grief was just everywhere......disbelief.....and tears.....lots of tears.....the Army was very supportive and assigned an E-7 to help with the myriad of paperwork and details .......

when will he come home??

The question on everyones mind. First sent to Kuwait, then on to Dover. That was all that was known at the time. Many calls back and forth.....now the press becomes aware of what has happened and people are everywhere. The curious drive by....people try to help and comfort one another......friends come by and recall happy times.......moms and dads of men wounded during the battle come by and tell of Davids heroism, and unselfish giving of himself so that their sons might live. A steady stream of Military personnel, family and friends come by to pay their respect......neverthe less.....the wait is so very hard to endure.

Days pass and finally word comes that Davids Brother Daniel will fly to Dover to identify and accompany him to Buffalo.

Thursday, December 2nd, 2004 is to be the day of his homecoming.......
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:04 PM
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Homecoming

The time of arrival is set at 4;30 PM, Buffalo time. We arrive at the funeral parlor to take a small procession to the airport to meet David there. The trip is unevetful, but plans at the airport suddenly change and we cannot drive our cars onto the runway. We ride out with the Deputies and assemble on the tar-mac. A Military Honor Guard stands by. Men that are home on leave from the 1st Cavalry Unit David is part of stand at the ready......the plane finally is opened and the cargo hold is empty except for the Flag draped coffin containing my young friend. What a profoundly sad site. All we see is two months earlier, a smiling and handsome young man, home on leave, full of life, and now........

Now.....the Honor Guard is called to attention, Present Arms!! , is called, the casket slowly is lowerd to the waiting soldiers to carry him to the car....family and friends slowly move to the casket.....the scene is excruciating.....proufoundly sad.....but at the same time profoundly PROUD to be an American. This is the cost of freedom.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:07 PM
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The scene at the airport

words cant express the sorrow.......
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:19 PM
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Promises made.

Now he is at the home and Honor Guard is posted around the clock., time to take one more day before the visitation begins. The waiting is over and a new set of circumstances start. Relief that he is finally home.....sadness that we are not the only ones to be enduring what is happening to David. Time seems to be in some sort of limbo. And now it begins, what appears to be thousands of people come by the home. Former team mates, fellow students, fellow Guardsmen and women, family, friends, people he did not even know come by to express their heartfelt emotions....through it all the pain on everyones heart is clearly evident.

Flowers everywhere, and tears......more tears.

How can this be happening???
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:29 PM
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Men of Honor

Sunday comes too quickly and it will soon be over.....but wait! The Army is allowing two of the young men on Davids vehihicle and wounded in the battle to leave the hospital at Ft. Hood, Texas to fly up to attend the service. They arrive at the house and are pretty banged up. The scene is intensely emotional. These young men are among the finast America has to offer. This is something that goes way beyond the scope of Davids sacrifice. This is what America is about. When we fail to stand up for what is right and good, we will no longer exist as a free nation, but be in servitude to some other power.

These young people stand for what is right and good about this country.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:49 PM
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The Final Journey

Eight o'clock a.m.

Private service at the home. Honor Guard is ready, prayers are said and its time to move out. Abundant tears....don't think we have any left....but there are more.

Move outside as keepsakes are placed in the casket.....our dog tags go with him.....wait....wait....its snowing, cold and windy. The horses are calm, the Honor Guard moves to bring him out.....Davids C.O. and First Sgt. stand ready ....the casket appears through the doors and is placed on the caison...slowly the horses pull away....its two miles to the Church. People line the street , some with hands on hearts, some at attention, others holding Flags or saluting. Davids Platoon members march along side of the casket as it is drawn.....the Captain follows with the Company Guidon....police everywhere.....arrival at the Church among great ceremony and respect. There are 800 people in a 750 person church, many others waiting outside. We follow him into the sanctuary and take our seats. Knowing its soon time to let him go......we dont want to and it gets even more difficult.

Daniel gives a tearful eulogy (not his, our tears) and we remember. But now its time to go.....

The procession has two hundred cars and is one mile long.
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:02 PM
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At rest

Final rest ......
The ceremony at the graveside is hushed and somber.
The rifles sound....the Flag is folded and presented....the snow starts to come down.....Davids Mom is presented with the Flag, the medals David earned, Bronze Star with "V" for Heroism, his Purple Heart....taps are sounded and its over......but its not over.

It has been said that a man is not dead until he is forgotten. so for me, he lives on. My grand children will hear of him and know him. I for one will never forget the sacrifice of this young man or that of every soldier and Marine that has paid this utmost of price.
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Old 12-10-2004, 01:58 AM
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Re: At rest

He will never be forgotten, from what you have written he not only served our country with proudly, he served his family with pride.
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Old 12-12-2004, 11:57 AM
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Re: Promises made.

The procession.
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Old 12-16-2004, 09:08 PM
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Eulogy

Daniel Roustum’s Eulogy for David Roustum How do I sum up 22 years in just a few moments?

Let me start by saying that no one I know has lived a fuller life than David. 22 years seems like just a stitch in time but he’s managed to leave an indelible mark on a myriad of people’s lives. Just look around you here. The amount of people here doesn’t even begin to tell his story. It’s the quality of the people here. Surrounding us today are Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors; former teammates, fellow students from Orchard Park, Buffalo State and U.B.; and of course his closest friends and family. The one thing that we all have in common is not so much that we are all here to pay our respects to David; it’s that David had the innate capability to see the good in all of us. We all would like to believe that we have that same gift, but the truth of the matter is that some people are born with open hearts and the rest of us spend our lives trying to learn how. To David it didn’t matter who you were or where you came from. He had the ability to see the good in you. Even after being in Iraq, his belief in the human spirit never wavered. Most of us have more than likely questioned whether or not the people of the world have the capability of understanding American values. Dave simply said, “It’s not these poor peoples’ fault they were born into this way of life. It wouldn’t be right to leave them suffer just because it’s easier to walk away than to jump into the fire.” David knew what he was doing. Perhaps his most admirable quality was his ability to discern, then act. Most of us, myself leading the charge, usually tackle life in the opposite manner. He knew, he ALWAYS knew. Shortly before deployment, we were “talking” at a local establishment and more than one person commented on his eerie sense of calm and purpose. He knew. David had a better understanding than most of the graveness of the task at hand because of his ability to discern and our family dynamic. He knew, but he never tired, never wavered and never blinked. Honor and integrity are words that are bandied about quite freely these days. They weren’t just words to David. He lived by them, and he died by them. There was nothing this world could confront him with that would make him sacrifice his integrity. If you were his friend, you hadn’t a worry in the world if David was around. If you were lucky enough to share the same blood with him, then you had the privilege of being comforted and awed for 22 years. He could do anything. There is an all too common misconception that people only join the military when they have no place else to go. Look around . You won’t find any lost souls hiding in uniforms here! David was just like all the men and woman you see here today. He could have gone anywhere, done anything. He chose to join the military because he knew it was right in his heart. Not to hide from the demons that swirl. Even in war time his selflessness shone through in his emailing and phone calls. I feel as though I know each of the men in his unit because he talked about them, not him. Postle, Polley, Bona, Bridge, Tipton, a tough old Sergeant whose fan he took so much delight in unplugging on the hottest nights. The list goes on and on. He always said that they knew their jobs and they did them exceptionally well. He trusted each and every one of the men with his life and he only asked that they do the same in return. “A man has no greater love than this; that he lay down his life for his friends.” David wouldn’t have it any other way. I have the distinct honor of having the kindest, bravest, most honorable man I know be my brother for 22 years. Truth is, however, that I wasn’t his only brother. He would have gladly given his life for any of the men that he trained with and fought for. What more a display of brotherhood does one require?
“Old men forget, yet all shall be forgot, but he’ll remember with advantages what feats he did that day. Then shall his name familiar in their mouths as household words be in their flowing cups freshly remembered. This story shall the good man teach his son. And not one day shall go by from this day to the ending of the world that we shall not be remembered. We few, we happy few, this band of brothers, for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother. And gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves a-cursed that they were not here, and hold their manhood cheap while any speaks that fought with us on Saint Crispen’s Day.”

David had a lot of brothers, and we love, respect and are praying for them all. David was the best brother, son, nephew, cousin, uncle or friend than anyone could ask for. I’ve many times told David “I love you” but I never did tell him the one thing that I should have. Thank You. Thank you for always being there. Thank you for learning all the lessons of life and becoming a man long before your time. Thank you for being the shining light of a family that loves you more than life itself. Thank you for that steely look of determination and understanding that I already see in my daughters eyes. But most of all, I thank you for your gift to me and all of us. That gift of freedom. My girls and all of our children will not have to be raised in an environment where heroes are a thing of lore. They won’t have to read about men of courage and integrity from a book. They will know you because we will teach them. We will have the freedom to do so because of you and people like you. People who don’t run, people who are at their best when circumstances are the gravest. That is the true measure of a man. So I thank you, thank you for comforting Mom and Dad for 22 years. Thank you for showing me a better way to live and what a real man is. You didn’t have to wear a uniform to show the world your soul. We already saw it. You did what you knew was right and good in your heart. Thank you for showing me all that is good about the human condition. And most of all thank you for being you, because a better man there never was, nor shall there ever be. My wife and girls will always have an angel watching over them, although I never envisioned an angel being 6 feet tall with muscles in his teeth. So until we meet again, I know Heaven’s streets will be well guarded and you had better have the football there waiting for us! You make me proud little bro, not for what you did but for what you were and always will be! Thank you and I love you, Danny
The proudest brother that ever walked the earth!!
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Old 01-15-2005, 08:59 AM
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Re: Promises made.

To Dana, who wrote me and asked me to keep David in prayer, and to write to him to keep him encouraged and lifted up cause he was so special to him, Dana, thank you for such an honor. Although I never heard back from David, and I never expected too cause I know they are so very busy and can't possibly answer all the mail they recieve, I did have a peace that David knew in his spirit how much we all were praying for him and all our troops. I was very grieved to hear of his death, although I had a peace about his being with Jesus now and awaiting all his family and friends to come join him, my heart and prayers turned to you Dana and his precious family. Danny, after reading your Eulogy, I know I have met someone very special. I don't know how many of David's unit are still in Iraq fighting - but you & they have another friend, someone who continues to pray for you all and all those still underfire or the threat of it. From what I have read about David, he fits the character of every soldier, airman, sailor or marine I have met or talked too. But what is so beautiful, is, although each one of our troops, our vets are similiar cause of training and desire to be the best they can be for God and Country - each one of you has a special gift that you offer to all that come to know you - that is what is so special to me - You all are the best, and having read and reread all that has been said about David, he was so very special - So, Dana, you and David's family will continue to be in my heart and my prayers. God bless and Keep you always, sandy
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:37 PM
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Re: Promises made.

funny how this is located in the city where the only Al Queada cell was arrested and convicted......
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Old 07-10-2005, 04:32 PM
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Re: Promises made.

epilogue? It still continues today......
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:46 PM
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Re: Promises made.

from Iraq.
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:09 PM
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Re: Promises made.

David's family after the ceremonies and tumultous times tapered off, tried to come up with some way to help the men from David's Guard Unit and preserve a lasting memorial also. Dave spent a lot of time in the gym and keeping himself fit, so his family put the resources together to place a gym and workout room in the armory. Here are some photo's of the gym and the dedication ceremony.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:49 PM
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A old thread flagged flagged from 5 years ago. It is still worth reading all the way through.
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