Saturday, February 03, 2007

Roger Haller laid to rest

CAMBRIDGE - Hundreds of relatives, friends, fellow servicemen and the community arrived at Sailwinds on Wednesday to attend the memorial for Command Sgt. Major Roger Haller, 49, formerly of Cambrdige, who was killed in action Jan. 20, northeast of Baghdad.

The community bode farewell to a friend and dedicated leader of the military and community. The funeral service was conducted with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute and a fly-over of four Black Hawk helicopters.

According to military reports, Sgt. Haller was serving as a human resources liaison for the National Guard in Afghanistan. He was 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.

Military officials have said an insurgent using a shoulder-fired missile might have shot the down helicopter he was was aboard with 11 other military personnel. All 12 Americans aboard died in the incident.

Published accounts suggest that the helicopter may have been shot down by a group of Sunni insurgents with connections to al-Qaida, and a senior military official told the Associated Press that evidence found with the wreckage indicated it may have been shot down.

The crash came on one of the deadliest days of the Iraq war, when 25 service members were killed.

Sgt. Haller had served in the National Guard for about 24 years.

He was commandant of the noncommissioned officers' academy, which trains soldiers in a variety of disciplines including ethics, personnel management and military history.

Sgt. Haller's family provided a statement for Wedneday's tribute:

"As you can imagine, this is a painful day for us. We are saying goodbye to someone whom we loved and treasured, and whose loss leaves a hole in our lives that will never be filled. But rather than dwelling on our loss, we prefer to remember Roger for the man he was: a beloved father, brother and son. We are immensely proud of him and we want the world to know what a brave, selfless, caring human being he was. He devoted his life to serving his country and he believed very strongly in what he was doing. We hope he will always be remembered in that way: not as a victim or a statistic, but as a soldier who fought for freedom and did his duty. We know Roger would not want it any other way. Lastly, we would like to thank everyone for all the compassion, kindness, and understanding they have shown us. Thank you all very much."

From the Daily Banner

Related Link:
Roger W. Haller killed in helicopter crash