Capt. Andrew Haffner Sgt. First Class Ramon M. Rivera And all the soldiers of: 1109th TASMG - TF 13 DET 4, Mazar-E-Sharif, Afghanistan
We just wanted to express our appreciation for the very well-written article, "David Irons, a de facto leader of theday.com online community, dies of stroke at age 66," (March 1), about the death of Sgt. First Class (Retired) David Irons.
SFC Irons (we in the military tend to use the retired persons rank as a sign of respect) was a very kind and generous person and truly loved his fellow soldiers.
Not only did he maintain the 1109th Aviation Classification and Repair Depot (AVCRAD) - now Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group (TASMG) - retiree newsletter for the soldiers that retired from the unit, and distribute it; but he also kept tabs on soldiers currently within the unit.
Six months ago he had heard I was in charge of a group of soldiers who were in Afghanistan (we are currently still on deployment) and was adamant that he wanted to send us something. We knew he was a retiree and I could not bring myself to ask for anything. In the absence of guidance he, and his wonderful wife Maura, took it upon themselves to send all the soldiers in our detachment (20 in all) sheet sets and pillows for our bunks. For weeks we were getting huge boxes in the mail, occupying our tiny, tiny rooms while we distributed the sheets and pillows to our soldiers.
It didn't end there.
Over the next few months, the Irons became our benefactors, providing us with everything from coffee, creamer, sugar (a staple diet of all Army sergeants) to DVDs and snacks. On our last movie night, many of the snacks we sat and gorged ourselves on came from David and Maura.
In the end, he was so supportive of us, that the detachment insisted that the first certificate of appreciation we created went to him.
We, as a detachment, are saddened by his loss (and those of us that personally knew him, have posted memorials on their facebook pages) and are looking forward to returning home and rendering the proper honors to this great American, and grieving with Maura.
In short, I would like to thank you for telling the story of the passing of a good soldier who loved his country and his fellow soldiers and to send our condolences to his family and friends. Respectfully,