By Staff Sgt. Alex Licea
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY, IRAQ — A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Paratrooper, who was killed in eastern Baghdad, was honored for his ultimate sacrifice during a memorial ceremony at Forward Operating Base Jan. 16, 2009.
Staff Sgt. Justin Bauer, a 24-year-old infantryman from Loveland, Colo., was assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. He was killed in action when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle during a combat patrol Jan. 10 in the New Baghdad District of eastern Baghdad.
He was serving on his second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I don’t know where America finds men like Staff Sgt. Bauer,” said Capt. Darren Glenn, Bauer’s commander company. “But I do know that America is the land of the free because of the brave. I am indebted to Justin for his service to his country. He will be truly missed.”
His fellow Paratroopers also remembered him as being a true leader and friend.
“I will never forget Staff Sgt. Bauer, his leadership and what he meant to us,” said Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Ward, Bauer’s platoon sergeant and personal friend. “I will never forget the true friend I loved and admired.”
Bauer enlisted in the Army in October 2004 as an infantryman. He completed his one-unit station training and Airborne school at Fort Benning, Ga. Along with his two deployments to Iraq, Bauer supported Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans in September 2005.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal with bronze service star, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Parachute Badge.
He is survived by his wife, Kari; his mother, Connie Haddock; and his father, Gregory Bauer.